Next Time on All This Jazz, It's Ornette Coleman's Tunes (for His Birthday)

Mar 6, 2014

Join us for the forthcoming edition of All This Jazz, beginning at 10pm on Saturday the 8th, here on Public Radio 89.5-1. We'll also offer, as always, a 7pm re-airing of ATJ on Sunday the 9th on Jazz 89.5-2, which is our station's mighty fine all-jazz HD Radio channel.

Every week, we faithfully present modern jazz, both recent and classic...from Armstrong to Zawinul, from Adderley to Zorn. And the second half of our two-hour program always carries a theme.

In the latter hour of our next program, theme-wise, we'll dig compositions by Ornette Coleman. Yes, Ornette Coleman. Once a controversial free-jazz lightning-rod whose music triggered fierce disagreements if not shouting matches among jazz buffs, Coleman, who will turn 84 on the 9th, today seems more like a soft-spoken visionary than an out-spoken maverick.

Indeed, he's by now become a universally revered icon of the jazz avant garde: an acknowledged pioneer, a musician whose 50-year journey in the music has cleared the way for two or three subsequent generations. And not just for all the screeching, histrionic "outsiders" out there --- bless them --- who make blaring, in-your-face music (in jazz and various other styles) with the same confidence/defiance that Coleman exhibited on such aggressively beautiful LPs as THE SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME, THIS IS OUR MUSIC, and CHANGE OF THE CENTURY. 

No, not just for the blessed weirdos. Coleman's also a jazz titan among mainstream jazz practitioners (and listeners) --- consider, for example, these well-articulated appreciations of his music from the pianist Ethan Iverson in 2010 and bassist Ben Allison in 2013.

Having collaborated with everyone from Geri Allen to Jerry Garcia, from Gunther Schuller to the London Philharmonic, from Lou Reed to Bob Thiele, Ornette Coleman is an elder statesman of jazz; his album SOUND GRAMMAR was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Thus has Coleman also, over the years, contributed a few "minor jazz standards" (as his Wiki entry calls them) to the proverbial songbook, such as "Lonely Woman" and "Peace" and "Turnaround." We'll hear --- on the forthcoming edition of All This Jazz --- jazz greats doing each of these classic tunes, as well as several other of Coleman's catchy (and often bluesy) themes.

Hope you can tune in.