Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ornette Coleman (1930–2015)

The New York Times has an obituary: “Ornette Coleman, Jazz Innovator, Dies at 85.”

For beginners, four recordings from 1959 and 1960: “Lonely Woman,” “Ramblin’,” “Una Muy Bonita,” “Beauty Is a Rare Thing.” These recordings put me in mind of what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in “Plato; or the Philosopher”:

This perpetual modernness is the measure of merit in every work of art; since the author of it was not misled by any thing short-lived or local, but abode by real and abiding traits. How Plato came thus to be Europe, and philosophy, and almost literature, is the problem for us to solve.
The sound of the Ornette Coleman Quartet came to be the sound of jazz.

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