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Change of the Century

Ornette ColemanAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $16.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2011 $6.63  
Audio CD, Import, Limited Edition, 2014 $25.29  
Audio CD, 1992 $16.99  
Vinyl, 2009 $14.89  
Audio Cassette, 1992 --  

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Change of the Century + This Is Our Music + The Shape of Jazz to Come
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 25, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: 1960
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002IIL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ramblin'
2. Free
3. The Face Of The Bass
4. ForeRunner
5. Bird Food
6. Una Muy Bonita
7. Change Of The Century

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Reissue of his 1959 album. Featuring the extraordinary talents of Don Cherry, Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins. Warner Jazz.

Ornette Coleman suggests in his liner notes for this 1960 release that "there is no single right way to play jazz." He and this, his great quartet (with Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Charlie Haden, bass; and Billy Higgins, drums), fully confirm that statement and dismiss the railings of Coleman's detractors. This classic's assurance and achievement fully justify its cocky title. In its free group improvising, as Coleman puts it, "each member goes his own way and still adds tellingly to the group endeavor." The later formalization of that approach, as "harmolodics," was from this point inevitable. The selections include tunes like "Ramblin'" and "Una Muy Bonita" that would be standards today if more musicians had deigned to venture down the paths that Coleman blazed. --Peter Monaghan

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior Jazz May 6, 1998
Format:Audio CD
I thought that this album was great. I admire how Ornette Coleman and his fellow musicians could create Jazz right on the spot like that. I may be only 11 years old, but I know what kind of music I like and I like this.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Change of the Century, Ornette's 4th album is a work of stunning brilliance. Any doubts that because it is sandwiched between the definitive classic The Shape Of Jazz To Come & the revolutionary Free Jazz that it would be somewhat lesser can be thrown right out. This is a great a jazz album as any ever made & amongst the greatest of any music, seriously all the labels, genre-specificness & niche marketing should be thrown right out, like OC fan Captain Beefheart meant when he said "Lick my decals off, baby!", I'm sure Ornette would agree. 1st of all there is the striking stark portrait of the man himself by Lee Friedlander to get yr attention, I've seen a book full of her photography & it's good stuff [note the similar style on Miles Davis' Greatest Hits lp cover of the late 60s]. Then there are the liner notes explaining the philosophy driving the music, Ornette believes deeply in what his group were doing [I should now mention that drummer Billy Higgins recently died & a sad shame it is, also the great Don Cherry has been gone since 1995], the bold titles of the albums were not an exercise to build an ego but just great confidence in the power of the music. Now, Ramblin' which opens the album is something that should be listened to every day to wake you up & get you in the mood for lifeliving, very catchy & great playing from all members, pure genius. Free is the name of the next track & it's worth noting this is preceding the term 'free jazz' slightly, the intro of it really superb, a streaming sea of sound & then of course there is a lot of free group improvisation. The Face Of The Bass highlights the talents of Charlie Haden [& rightly so!], daring to give him an extended solo before the whole band jumps in again. Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only way to play jazz, well. August 8, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Says Ornette in the liner notes: "I say, there is no single way to play jazz. Some of the comments made about my music make me realize though that modern jazz, once so daring and revolutionary, has become, in many respects, a rather settled and conventional thing." Just as bop had befuddled and angered critics to ask such narrow minded questions as, "where is the melody?", the music of Ornette Coleman confused and angered the majority of critics. But the muscicians were listening. Even Coleman's seminal "Free Jazz" sounds relatively tame when compared to the avante garde of the middle to late 60's, but it can be argued much of that music, good and bad, could never have come about without the adavnces of Ornette Coleman. A genius on par with names like: Ellington, Coltrane, Parker, jazz is still wrestling with his revolution. His lack of traditional structures, total absence of chorded instruments (i.e. piano, guitar), and even playing his plastic alto were all part of his revolution. But lets focus on what matters, this album is a delight from beginning to end. Ornette is in top form thoughout, check out his furious solo on "Forerunner". Bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins move with fluidity and cohesiveness through out. Donald Cherry on the pocket trumpet, while not impressive to me, is essential to the group for his willingness to take chances. To these ears this music swings as hard as any, and needs to be in any serious collection of jazz recordings, not because it is revoloutionary, but because it is good!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bass Playing Is Utterly Killer ! October 14, 2010
Format:Audio CD
First time I heard Ornette Coleman, I was in the downtown Miami record store called Capitol Records (not affiliated with the label) in 1970. I was looking around at the rock albums, looking to perhaps purchase Led Zeppelin III when someone put Change of the Century on the store's stereo system. At that moment, my life changed. You see, I had a few jazz albums in my collection at this time (Wes Montgomery's A Day in the Life and Road Song, Kenny Burrell's Blues the Common Ground, orchestrated A&M and Verve stuff like that) but never in my life had I heard walking bass like THIS! I mean, the BASS PLAYING hit me like a ton of bricks, virually levitating me to the ceiling of this store! They were playing "Ramblin'" and I didn't hear, or I should say, didn't pay attention to any saxophone or trumpet, all I could hear was this sublime, moving, leather-lunged, rich and soulful catgut-strung walking bass and, also, the amazing drummer, who didn't play drums like anyone I had heard before this revelation. I was floating, levitating, transported to another world. There was dancing in my head, if you will. I mean, this bassist and drummer absolutely SHATTERED my 16-year-old soul into a million pieces. I ran up to the clerk and told him I wanted to purchase whatever album he was spinning on the turntable. I had never heard of Ornette--I was just getting into jazz--but, forget Led Zep, this was the album I wanted.

When I found out the price was like, a dollar above list, however ($5.98, a lot for an album in 1970), I left the store dejected. I just didn't have that much money to spend on an album. I repaired to the 5-story Walgreens on Flagler Street.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album
I first heard a live version of Una Muy Bonita on some weird internet pirate radio station in the late 90s. It totally changed my life right then and there. Read more
Published 20 months ago by pythonguy
4.0 out of 5 stars Ornette Keeping Up The Pace
Okay so how does a guy like Ornette Coleman fundamentally alter the way in which jazz saxophone is played easily as much as Charlie Parker a decade and a half before him and than... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Andre S. Grindle
5.0 out of 5 stars Ornette scores big on 2nd Atlantic release
As good as his first Atlantic album was, this 2nd album with the same personnel is maybe Ornette's best for that label. Read more
Published on September 28, 2008 by Dennis W. Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Remastered Change
This is a classic recording, only slightly less compelling than Coleman's SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME. If you like SHAPE, you'll certainly like CHANGE. Read more
Published on March 5, 2007 by David Conklin
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, brave, inovative jazz
I must admit I'm not very much experienced with free jazz; I listened to some Pharoah Sanders and to some of Miles Davis' experiments with this style ("Cookin' at plugged nickel"... Read more
Published on December 14, 2006 by Nikica Gilic
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the masterpiece 'Shape' was, but awfully good.
Following up a classic album is always a difficult endeavor. Certainly to do so when that album was revolutionary and influential is even harder. Read more
Published on August 31, 2005 by Michael Stack
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile
This CD was a purchased on a recommendation many years ago, and it has taken me a good deal of that time to learn to appreciate the genius of Ornette Coleman. Read more
Published on March 29, 2001 by Robert M. Emanuel
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Jazz!
I don't usually listen to Jazz, but this album is great. I don't usually listen to music without guita, either. All the instruments and sounds blend together perfectly. Read more
Published on April 23, 2000 by M. Scagnelli
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BLEND
Published on April 13, 2000 by mistermaxxx08
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
I origionally bought this record along with "Shape of Jazz to Come" in 1981. It would be stating the obvious to say these are classics. Read more
Published on April 5, 1999
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