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Something Else

Ornette ColemanAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $9.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2006 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1991 $9.04  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Invisible 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Blessing 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Jayne 7:19Album Only
listen  4. Chippie 5:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Disguise 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Angel Voice 4:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Alpha 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. When Will The Blues Leave? 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. The Sphinx 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Y9C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,262 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


These are tunes that Coleman wrote in his early 20s, that he finally got a chance to record in his late 20s, in 1958. He had, meanwhile, been leading the life of a musical maverick, often-fired by leaders perturbed by his idiosyncratic approach. He was, after all, intent on digging up and replanting jazz. Hearing the startling exuberance in Coleman's compositions, and in his own whinnying playing, one senses that--truly--an annunciation is being made: Here is Something Else. With sublime assurance, Coleman was breaking free from the dictates of chordal playing, in search of increased melodic and harmonic opportunities. Pianist Walter Norris obliges by generally staying out of the way, after session producers put him in it--it is clear that the piano was not the instrument that would assist Coleman's mission. --Peter Monaghan

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joyous, early Ornette August 30, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Ornette Coleman's tunes on this early album are bouncy and melodic. The overall mood is up-beat and optimistic. Purists will prefer "The Shape of Jazz to Come" and other recordings by his more austere pianoless quartet recorded a few years later. But for me the piano and bass playing fairly conventional jazz changes behind Ornette and Don Cherry "works"-- even if it really shouldn't. And Billy Higgins' light touch on the drums adds just the right tone: I can picture him smiling as he plays. "The Blessing" has become a jazz standard, and all the quirky melodies stay in your head for a long while. This should be in your Ornette collection, whether it is the first or last recording of his you buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breakthrough disc March 18, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I had this for years on tape, mislaid it, & now just got the CD. It's automatically a very important album because it's Coleman's first as a leader; but I'd never thought of it as a first-rank Coleman album--of his two Contemporary discs, probably I'd give the 2nd, _Tomorrow Is the Question_, the edge, & unquestionably the Atlantics are the peak of Coleman's early career. However, revisiting the disc I'm reminded of how sheerly enjoyable it is, & I think it deserves the full 5 stars. The "sound" of the disc is a surprisingly effective blend of brisk West-Coast swing & Coleman's already completely wayward, unorthodox sax. Don Cherry plays a normal trumpet (with a pronounced Miles Davis inflection) rather than the oddball "pocket trumpet" that sounds so marvellously alien on the Atlantics--he sounds basically like a confident bopper but already makes a few lateral swerves that suggest his future musical direction.
Reviewers often blame the comparative conservatism of the music here on the presence of Walter Norris, a fine bop pianist but hardly a necessary presence given Coleman's later preference for pianoless ensembles. (Norris is reported in Litweiler's bio of Coleman as having been rather mystified by Coleman & Cherry's frequently ignoring the chord changes they'd decided on for the tunes during their improvisations.) But to criticize Norris is to miss the point: Coleman's music here is much more closely tied to bop orthodoxy than it would be in the following years. Tunes like "Chippie" & "Angel Voice" are straightahead "I Got Rhythm" variants, despite their nicely individual melodies ("Angel Voice" for instance has a calypso tinge to its A section).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a severely underrated album October 4, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The piano sounds fine! This is rediculous. In fact, you hardly notice it. It's very low in the mix. What a great album! All the tunes are his, the saxaphone playing is excellent (incredibly smooth). The notes Coleman puts together on this album are definitely strange, but the overall effect is not overwhelming cacophony, like found on Free Jazz. In fact, it's an incredibly straight forward album. Coleman was an innovator, but sometimes you just want to relax and take a break from his edgier music, regardless of how innovative it may have been. In summary- the songs are relatively simple, but certainly not boring. The sax playing is EXCELLENT. I like it better than "shape of jazz to come" which, i think, is an overproduced album. What is that crappy treble sound in Atlantic Jazz recordings? Anyway, you won't find it on this album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start For Ornette, But Not For You July 18, 2000
Format:Audio CD
"Somethin' Else" might have been a good start for Ornette Coleman's recording career, but it is not the best place to start your Ornette Coleman CD collection. The tunes are good, and 3/4 of his classic Atlantic quartet (Ornette, Don Cherry and Billy Higgins) are present, but the album lacks musical cohesion. This is laregly due to the inclusion of piano in the group. While Paul Bley may have been able to accompany Ornette on some level, Walter Norris does not, and piano in general was not well-suited to Ornette's music. In fact, I'm not sure he ever recorded with a piano player again until recently with Geri Allen on the "Sound Museum" sessions. Ornette fans will certainly want to get this, but others should have a dozen other Ornette CDs under their belt before this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tense debut September 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Ornette Coleman generated quite a stir when he appeared on the jazz scene, although listening to his debut record nearly fifty years later, it's actually quite difficult to understand. "Something Else!!!!" actually sounds quite conventional and tame to modern ears, certainly not like the leap forward that his Atlantic debut, "The Shape of Jazz to Come" was.

A lot of this probably has to do with the band-- while Coleman (playing his trademark white plastic alto sax) is accompanied by his then-usual frontline partner Don Cherry on trumpet, his rhythm section-- pianist Walter Norris, bassist Don Payne, and drummer Billy Higgins-- play within conventional constraints. Higgins' place in this is actually quite interesting to hear, given how advanced his drumming would be on that Atlantic debut. As a result of this conventional rhythm section performance, there are implied changes on the pieces. Coleman plays far more conventionally than he usually does, and when he does venture into his style of bending the notes or trying to force the rhythm section to follow him (as on "Jayne"), they don't. Net result-- Coleman introduces tension when playing the way that makes sense to him, and as a leader, he (and to a lesser extent, Cherry) is in total opposition to the rest of the band.

The music itself is decent enough-- most of the pieces are blues forms of some sort or another, somewhat advanced at times, but by and large pretty straightforward, and its pleasant enough, but similar to Cecil Taylor's early records, there's little indication of what advancements he'd make in the very near future. Coleman has indicated in books that the songs on here were written several years beforehand-- if this is the case, it explains their relative unadvanced state.
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