Join the A DIFFERENT NATURE Collective tonight for a kind of radio primer on Ornette Coleman, as some of us share what recordings we still have of his most pivotal and radical music from our collections and reflect on the life and turbulent times of one of modern music's most influential thinkers and innovators;
ORNETTE COLEMAN, who died last year, didn't think his ideas of freeing both musician hand listeners would change the course of modern music, but that is what happened. 50 years later, the evidence is everywhere. Ornette did this by controversially showing players and composers worldwide that they could free themselves to leap outside the common compositional structure of harmony and melody, to BREAK THE RULES! Free your music and yourself...
Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman was born March 9, 1930 in Ft Worth, Texas, Ridiculed and rejected for his style of playing from the heart, he left Texas and headed West. Beginning in the late 1950s in Los Angeles where he met Don Cherry and Charlie Haden, he began playing music that upset many musicians playing jazz. Like his hero CHARLIE PARKER who also suffered more than his share of ridicule for upsetting the the apple cart with the radical deconstructionism of song form (and called it BE-BOP), Ornette paid dearly for his views and his music, even getting physically beaten up outside a club in Los Angeles in 1959, his horn smashed. He was broke and could only afford a white plastic sax that actually became his trademark. Ornette posited that the infinite improvisational possibilities of a melody could thrive outside of a predetermined structure, that musical ideas could flow and expand in the moment as naturally as breath or speech or thought. A simple idea that shook the world of twentieth-century music—a revolutionary idea that sounded like a folk song. Sweet, deceptively simple and lyrical.
Joining the collective (Andy, alejandro, Danielle, Rolf and Daniel) tonight will be DAVID ORNETTE CHERRY, the son of Ornette's partner in compositional crime, DON CHERRY, who will also of course be featured.