Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ornette's Got a Brand New Bag

Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head

This is where Ornette shifts focus pretty radically for the third or fourth time. After the Skies of America classical/jazz mash-up, he hired a couple of electric guitar players like all the other jazz cats of the time.

Of course, he wasn't trying to emulate Weather Report or Mahavishnu Orchestra here. These guitar players aren't playing it straight, at all. In fact, at parts they mirror the approach to electric guitar that would emerge from the post-punk and no wave scenes a decade later.

Unlike some of those musics, though, this one goes down pretty smooth. Ornette always had a nice balance between novel approach and melodicism that kept him from being an academic exercise (I think some of his later stuff has lost that balance for me, though).

The last cut is what I bought this record for way back when. It is a cut featuring Ornette fronting the Master Musicians. It's not anything like the rest of the record, but a damn cool addition. Utterly unique in the jazz cannon, as far as I know.


Tim Niland said...

My favorite Ornette album. Also one of the most infectious and danceable pieces of music ever made.

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