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Record Review, Jazz, Ornette Coleman, Shape of Jazz to come. 180gram Audiophile vinyl

    

Published 2015-06-29


Jazz album cover art, Ornette Coleman,

pictured here is part of my "Spring Jazz Fling"

Audiophile Sound Quality Rating 8 / Musical content 10

Vinyl Record Review: Jazz, Modern Jazz, (avant-garde). Heavy Vinyl Pressing 180 gram on "Wax Time Record label". Audiophile Pressing Process (Direct Metal Mastering).

Jazz record, Ornette Coleman, album, vinyl record

 

This is a stunning reproduction of the original recording, both in looking authentic with identical complete liner notes, and front & rear cover art. With the exception as noted on the rear cover, of an additional "bonus track" and of course the current record company's other informational necessities.

Engineering is stated on jacket as being done with the original George Neumann cutting system.

I gave the sound quality a rating of 8.  I'm trying to be more conservative in my ratings these days as it dawned on me that all of my record reviews are 9's or 10's. The reality is, I only write about recordings I'm really jazzed about (no pun intended). As an audiophile, this puts me in the predicament of only talking about the outstanding recordings (or ones which will be in the top teir of sound quality).  So from this review forward I am being more strict with this assement. 

This recoding suffers a little bit from noise between the tacks which could be a result of either the master or the fact the original tapes are from 1959.  Whichever the case neither the label or other reviewers specifies any info on this issue.  Apart from that however, the music itself is of exceptional quality and broad dynamcis. I could easily use this as a "test" disc for auditioning high quality turntables, speakers and audio systems.

 

It’s been a few weeks now since we lost another great American musician, and I’ve been reflecting on this since Springtime is Jazz time for me.  I call it my “Spring Jazz Fling”. I listen to Jazz and all types of music throughout the year, but I get into “moods” and center on certain types during the four seasons, and Spring is Jazz time for me.  It seems to help me think in original ways and to focus on various exploits I want to accomplish for the year.

 

Ornette Coleman, the alto saxophonist and composer who was one of the most powerful and contentious innovators in the history of jazz, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 85.The cause was cardiac arrest, a family representative said.

 

Mr. Coleman widened the options in jazz and helped change its course. Partly through his example in the late 1950s and early 60s, jazz became less beholden to the rules of harmony and rhythm while gaining more distance from the American songbook repertoire.

 

This statement from the Associated Press touches on Ornette’s identity as one of the “innovators" of the modern Jazz movement. He was considered one of the “great influencers” of this of-shoot of what’s considered jazz “standards”.  Jazz standards are those songs and themes which have been done over and over by the masses of even those famous and most celebrated Jazz artists – each taking a different and unique road along the same path, but essentially, not straying too far from it. Ornette often didn’t follow these paths at all – if he did, his road was so abstract, only occasionally could you figure out (without looking at the liner notes) which road he was actually following.

Ornette Coleman Shape of Jazz to come liner notes

 

I have friends that get together with me to listen to Jazz and other musical art forms.  We typically enjoy the great “standards” artists – hey – they’re easy to follow. Occasionally, I’ll pull out Eric Dolphy or Ornate Coleman and the comments are always the same. The instrumentation, the phrasing, the musicianship and skill are “WOW” but my friends will go on to say “I would never buy such an album to just listen to”.  They might use it as a test disc to audition audio gear, because again, of the clarity and quality of the sounds, but not to enjoy this “abstract music”.       

 

When I listen to a great innovator like Ornette Coleman, it’s easy for me to understand this sediment. Most people like an easy to follow “melody”. I guess what’s harder to appreciate in Ornette is that he is one of those great artists who gave Jazz the moniker as being the “musician’s music”.  No one gets to the core of musical exploration better than Ornette Coleman, which is why I have to include his “Shape of Jazz to come”  in my Spring “Jazz” Fling every year! It is recognized as one of the “all-time great” Jazz records and is in a few of the “short lists” to own for any series collector. For me, it just “gets there” – and if you have to be a musician to truly understand this, so be it.  But I believe any true appreciator of great art and great musical art will also “get it”. My take is that he’s a little less “Dali” and a little more “Picasso”.

 

“cheers”

 

 




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