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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars free jazz,
By A Customer
taken as a whole, free jazz strikes me - rather like ascension - like a sun; a bright burning mass of energy that flares up in various, seemingly random places, but that does have an internal logic once you get inside it. repeated listenings will be rewarded with something new each time and an overall joy you only get from the best stuff. go on xxx
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music as Jackson Pollock Expressionism,
Ornette Coleman had blasted onto the jazz scene, abandoning traditional structures for the primal cry of unmediated freeform jazz, in the 1950s. In so doing he went against the "less-is-more" style of Miles Davis and inspired many already-famous musicians, such as John Coltrane. "Free Jazz" is the logical expression of Coleman's revolution. 8 musicians (a double quartet) freeform, whilst each horn takes in turn to be the dominant instrument. The other horns are free to interject or comment, but they must avoid cliche and play more than what was in their traditional "bag". This was a voyage to the musical unknown.
The playing is in fact fairly easily discernible - Coleman is the dominant soloist, while there are parts like most of the horns laughing, a car-horn peeping, and so on. There are several guiding posts, leitmotifs, to indicate the beginning or end of a solists section, so there are discernible signposts to guide the listener. The CD has a useful introduction t the album, saying who plays when.
Overall the piece lacks the power of the similar "Ascension" - Coltrane was a massivel more authoritive player than Coleman. It feels like flushes of energy at varying frequencies (depending on the horn) washing across your perceptions, a flux of energies and forces, as in an Abstract Expressionist painting (the cover is no accident!). It is not "easy listening" but it is a fascinating document and well-worth repeated hearings.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ornette Bites Back!!,
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great flow and sustained tension,
I bought this record in a 5cd-box (original album series) and while I liked "The shape of jazz to come" and subsequent records, I was quite surprised and delighted by 'Free Jazz'.
The record starts without any niceties and plunges you right into the thick of collective improvisation. With this kind of approach and keeping in mind the length of the track, an impressive and imposing 37 minutes, I really was wondering whether the musicians would be able to sustain the level of playing and hold my attention. I was really pleased to discover that they did pull it off.
Comparisons have been made with John Coltrane's 'Ascension', which is a record I'm still struggling with. I think comparisons are justified, and personally I think Ornette Coleman's effort is the better, despite my great admiration for Coltrane.
This may be a challenging record, but I found it surprisingly easy to digest. Certainly my cuppa tea! Pulsing and flowing all the time like seacurrents it may be an alternative for all who, like me, find 'Ascension' a bit too austere.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new space for jazz,
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It isn't Mozart or George Formby!,
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