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As you would expect, the performances are loaded with Ornette's freeform interplay with plenty of jolts and surprises. The opening track "Jordan" would not at all sound out of place alongside Ornette's classic album "The Shape of Jazz To Come" while "Sleep Talking" is a haunting mood piece that features an excellent spotlight on the two bassists - Tony Falanga is especially impressive with his ghostly bowed strokes.
Elsewhere on the album are intense moments such as those heard in "Matador" and "Waiting For You". "Once Only" is just plain bizarre with its sax lead lines that don't stick to any one key accompanied by equally meandering bass lines and rhythmless drumming.
The highlights of the album will no doubt have to be the two piece which will be familar to longtime Ornette followers. "Turnaround", while presented in a slightly different context here, is a classic Ornette blues originally from 1958. The rhythm is less straightforward here than on the original version and almost tends to go into doubletime without actually fully going into it. "Song X" was originally from 1985 and was the title track to his classic collaboration with guitar great Pat Metheny. Ornette's version here extends the piece to 10-minutes and includes great solo spots from everyone.Read more ›
A decade later, Coleman seems significantly more active, with a new band playing sporadic shows, including the one captured on "Sound Grammar", taken from a late 2005 show in Germany. For a luminary such as Coleman to release something new would alone be cause for celebration-- for that album to be fantastic (as this one is) makes it really special.
In case you're unfamiliar with Coleman-- Ornette Coleman, a Texas born alto saxophonist, stumbled upon something really new in jazz. A system by which the key and changes of the music become significantly less important, instead the moment of the music is what matters. This music, termed free jazz by the press and Harmolodics by Coleman, has propelled a career spanning nearly 50 years now, from the early classic quartet recordings to the electric free funk Coleman would later explore. His music is not for everyone-- it's lack of reliance of regular pattern can leave one hanging and his alto playing can often be rather angular, but Coleman in his own way is a natural extension of Charlie Parker and is being recognized for his accomplishments.Read more ›
"Jordan" leads things off with a choppy start-stop feel with Ornette improvising over bowed and plucked bass. There's an interlude where the two basses improvise together before Coleman contributes a few trumpet blasts. "Sleep Talking" begins with mournful bowed bass with some light alto sax comments. A bass duet over drums contributes a very open sound to the music. "Turnaround" has an almost "Saints Go Marching In" fell to the melody. Ornette has a gently sweeping solo over a bed of bass and drums. The group gets a beautifully unique sound with Ornette's keening alto and two basses. "Matador" takes things on a faster pace with some jaunty, smiling alto before two basses, both plucked, duke it out before Ornette sweeps back in and takes everybody out.
Both "Waiting" and "Once Only" convey a deep sense of plaintive loss and yearning with Coleman's saxophone nearly crying the blues in these deeply emotional performances. Contrasting those performances are a couple of free up-tempo numbers, "A Call To Duty" and Song X.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was all I expected and more. It sounds chaotic, but Ornette makes it all work.Published 5 months ago by Robert W. Shirley
Ok, I enjoyed listening to Ornette remembering his music and several performances. Will continue to listen.Published 6 months ago by Regina 617
Whatever this is - i have many jazz artists & ornette is among the farthest out there- its a live cd 2005-Published 13 months ago by One KING
It looks like this will stand as Ornette Coleman's last music, barring posthumous releases. He was 75 when it was recorded, live in Germany, in 2005. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Autonomeus
This CD captures 4 musicians who seem to have a remarkable sense of telepathy with one another. Each is so comfortable "speaking" through his instrument that it is a small... Read morePublished on January 1, 2014 by D. L. Russo
Sound Grammar, recorded live in 2005 and released in 2006, is a reminder of how lucky we are to have had the opportunity to listen to Ornette Coleman's glorious compositions and... Read morePublished on January 29, 2011 by David Keymer