Ornette Coleman: Gone but forever remembered.
The best thing I have ever read about him is still one of the earliest pieces, the interview and overview in A.B. Spellman’s Four Lives in the Bebop Business.
“Ornette Coleman” can be anagrammed thusly:
Create Melt Noon
Calmer Tone Note
Romance Let Note
Oracle Omen Tent
Locate Term Neon
Nectar Lemon Toe
Forms and Sounds (guesswork about the Harmolodic system)
This is Our Mystic (early OC records and Science Fiction)
The recent lawsuit is infuriating. Mr. Coleman had not been well for some time. Anyone who met him during his sunset years would immediately suspect that New Vocabulary is simply a case of unscrupulous representation. I personally refuse to consider New Vocabulary part of the Coleman canon any more than any other tapes of students hanging out jamming with the generous sage. Period.
Interesting that similar kinds of questions (about the possible intellectual property abuse of mentally infirm master artists) are raised by the forthcoming publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman…
In the Charlie Haden documentary Ramblin’ Boy there are a few moments of astonishing footage of the Ornette Coleman quartet with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell from the 1972 European tour. A complete tape of the concert apparently exists. Now that this perfectly unmatched set of interlocking magicians is gone, the full video simply must be made available.