Remembering Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman (1930-2015)  – at the all’Enjoy Jazz Festival 2008, Heidelberg, Germany – Photo – Frank Schindelbeck

Six years ago tomorrow (June 11)  the great ground-breaking visionary jazz saxophonist, Ornette Coleman passed away

Here’s his New York Times obituary.  (see also here)
His Washington Post obituary
His obituary in The Guardian

Read Denardo Coleman on his father  – “My Father was Deep”
Neneh Cherry on Ornette Coleman
Two more memories of Ornette Coleman
John Schafer’s NPR Remembrance  (see also here)
Adam Shatz in The London Review of Books

Check out Josh Jones in Open Culture –  “How Ornette Coleman Shaped the Jazz World: An Introduction to His Irreverent Sound”
and his companion piece – “How Ornette Coleman Freed Jazz with His Theory of Harmolodics”. (for more on “Harmolodics” – see here)
He also has pieces here – on Ornette and Lou Reed and here – Ornette and The Grateful Dead

Heres an interview with Ornette in Cadence magazine 1995 (it was actually recorded in 1987)
and here‘s an interview (in the  LA Weekly) from the following year)

and from 1997, an extraordinary document, Jacques Derrida interviews Ornette Coleman

Coleman is liberally quoted in this 2005 article

and from 2020 – this

Ornette Coleman Sextet – Castle Ansbach, Germany, 1978 –  Ornette Coleman – sax and violin, Ben Nix, guitar, James Blood Ulmer, guitar,  Fred Williams, bass, Shannon Jackson, drums, Denardo Coleman, drums. – here, here and here

Celebrate Ornette, (from 2017), an epic boxed-set (24 performances captured on 2 DVDs, 3 CDs, 4 Vinyl LP’s) documents an all-star tribute to Ornette held in 2014 at the “Celebrate Brooklyn” show (the show in which the saxophonist, already ailing, gave his last public performance), alongside recordings from an equally stellar Memorial gathering the following year, held at Manhattan’s Riverside Church.

Rolling Stone reviews it here
Pitchfork reviews it here 
Larry Blumenfeld in the Wall Street Journalhere 

Allen (with Harvey Kubernik in a 1996 interview). – “I did a collaboration three months ago with Ornette Coleman for French television. They sent a limousine and I did it with Gregory Corso and the late Herbert Huncke….I read some poems and Ornette punctuated them with saxophone. We did a monochordal chant, ending in three chords. Ornette was totally great. Gregory would read a poem, or get up and make some comment, and Ornette answered with sax. They were talking back and forth…”

We’ll conclude with Shirley Clarke‘s remarkable 1985 documentary, Ornette – Made In America, an idiosyncratic portrait that has very much stood the test of time and provides rare insight and a testament to Ornette’s genius  (reviews of that movie here, here and here  (and more here))

Remembering Ornette Coleman

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