TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the September 2022 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 417/500!
It was John Lewis, pianist of the Modern Jazz Quartet, who brought Ornette Coleman to the renowned Atlantic label, having heard him play in Los Angeles. "Ornette Coleman is doing the only really new thing in jazz ...," he reportedly said. The present initial Atlantic album was released just in time to coincide with the New York debut of the Coleman Quartet in November 1959. Lewis was sure that Coleman would open up new paths for jazz, and his opinion is reflected in the title of the album - "The Shape Of Jazz To Come."
After the rather worn-out hard bop routine of the past years, this music was like a breath of fresh air. The fast numbers ("Eventuality," "Chronology") remind one of wildly hyped-up bebop. Other numbers ("Congeniality," "Focus On Sanity") juggle with catchy, almost folk-like short motifs. This album contains two of Coleman's most beautiful compositions: "Peace" and "Lonely Woman," which was later given lyrics and often heard in its vocal version.
The Mulligan-Baker Quartet provided the model for the pianoless quartet - and when the band swings along once in a while with a moderato tempo, it is truly reminiscent of cool jazz. Be that as it may, the two wind instrumentalists just love the frenetic "cry" and the intentionally "imprecise" interplay. Clearly defined stanzas or traditional harmonic forms were not for them. The jazz musicologist Peter N. Wilson wrote: "A record, which is not unjustifiably so entitled" about this LP which was given 5 stars by the magazine Rolling Stone.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head.
Ornette Coleman's Atlantic debut, The Shape of Jazz to Come, was a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with. The record shattered traditional concepts of harmony in jazz, getting rid of not only the piano player but the whole idea of concretely outlined chord changes. The pieces here follow almost no predetermined harmonic structure, which allows Coleman and partner Don Cherry an unprecedented freedom to take the melodies of their solo lines wherever they felt like going in the moment, regardless of what the piece's tonal center had seemed to be.... But at this point, Coleman's desire for freedom was directly related to his sense of melody - which was free-flowing, yes, but still very melodic...Any understanding of jazz's avant-garde should begin here.
Never has any group in jazz history responded better to one another than this quartet, with Don Cherry (crt), Charlie Haden (b), and Billy Higgins (dr). With great remastered sound, what are you waiting for?
- 180g High Quality Vinyl LP
- Pure Analogue
- Made from the original, analogue master tapes
- Pressed at Pallas in Germany
|Ornette Coleman||alto sax|
- Lonely Woman
- Focus On Sanity