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Tone Dialing

Ornette ColemanAudio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000046Z6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Street Blues
2. Search For Life
3. Guadalupe
4. Bach Prelude
5. Sound Is Everywhere
6. Miguel's Fortune
7. La Capella
8. OAC
9. If I Knew As Much About You (As You Know...)
10. When Will I See You Again
11. Kathelin Gray
12. Badal
13. Tone Dialing
14. Family Reunion
15. Local Instinct
16. Ying Yang

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars five years later, still a breath of fresh wind October 30, 2000
By "waex"
Format:Audio CD
In order to save a dying art form you have to break new ground in the genera. Enter "Tone Dialing", THE most original jazz album of the 90's. This album strengthened my belief that free jazz is the most variable, individual jazz out there, and this album is the next ticket into that unconquered sonic wild. The disc starts out with "street blues", which is laced with hip hop, the rhythm section and the sax interacting in an almost stream-of-consciousness feel. What "Street Blues" foreshadows, "Search for Life" run's with. This is very close to an actual hip hop song, complete with rhymes, along with lots of the band's improv. "Bach Prelude" is the strangest Bach-jazz piece I have heard, chock full of polyrythms. Now we get to "Sound Is Everywhere", a surreal dream of a piece perfect for late at night when you're half asleep. Although far different that the atonality of Webern, it captures the same general mood. You get the feeling upon listening, that the unconscious is so close to the surface you can see it's periscope. "Miguel's Fortune" sounds almost like a Jazz-Cuban grateful dead jam. The next few songs definitely have a Cuban feel. ""If I Knew" is an (not exactly atonal) atonal ballad (not exactly a ballad) that almost gave me an orgasm the first listen. The whole album has a mood of quiet lucidity. One of Ornettes best, and the only one like it because Coleman rarely repeats himself. The rest of the album is just as groundbreaking, but running short of space. . .
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars adventurous but melodic February 18, 2000
By a.b.
Format:Audio CD
Ornette Coleman is one of the musical geniuses of the past 50 years, certainly. And his use of electronic instruments in his Prime Time band is downright wicked on this daring -- and extremely melodic -- CD. The band, with two or three guitarists, electric bass, piano and synthesizers, drums plus programmed electronic drums, and percussion, rages through Ornette's joyful (but at times palpably melancholy) themes and ferociously intense improvisations. This music, with lots of contemporary studio polish, could almost be great background music if not for the way the changing meters and constant modulations make the listener feel like the surface of the music is constantly collapsing on itself! Serious Ornetteophiles and the curious bystander will find something in this music to hang on to. One last note about Prime Time: with the electronics and funky rhythms, Ornette's ideas are even more intense and inexhaustable; unlike many jazz-pop artists he adapts his vision without losing the edgy quality of his acoustic work. The proof is here.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new forms of harmelodics. April 26, 2000
By Dan
Format:Audio CD
I don't think any artist has accomplished so many great breakthroughs in one album as Ornette Coleman as in Tone Dialing. The album consists of 18 tracks ranging from about 3 to 10 minutes each, and from the harmelodic interpretation of Bach's prelude to the integration of Ornette's own styling of rhythmic vitality along with the flavor of hip hop, Afro-Cuban, and many unclassified genres that cannot be defined by any musical subcultures except Ornette's own. As for the performance of these unique musical concepts, I don't think Prime Time has ever been in better shape than it is now at the release of this album. This is my absolute favorite of all the Prime Time albums (that I own). It's difficult to say what tradition this album is in, or what album I'd compare it to, since Ornette Coleman is in the habit of breaking tradition, and experiments with bold, original forms as often as possible (this being not one, but many of them), but I'd recommend it to anyone who like any of (but not limited to)0 the following albums by Ornette Coleman: Science Fiction, Song X, Free Jazz, In All Languages, or The Art of Improvisers.
If you've never heard any harmelodic or free Jazz before, this *might* not be the one to start with. I'd suggest Science Fiction first, and moving on from there at your own discretion.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is not your father's Ornette Coleman May 24, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Yes, it's very different from Coleman's 60's records. Guess what - he's an evolving artist, even in his 60's and 70's! Actually compared to his other CD's from the 80's & 90's, such as "Virgin Beauty" and in "In All Languages", it's not THAT different.

This album took several listens to before I could wrap my brain around it. I won't repeat what previous reviewers have written. It's certainly very dense, challenging music which sometimes fools you into thinking it's just funky world beat, but then turns around and messes with your head. The lines the various instruments play are melodic and consonant, but the way they interact is somewhat disorienting at times, before falling back together. He manages to incorporate a huge variety of musical styles and influences and stir up something that could not possibly be anything other than Ornette! Overall this is fascinating music.

It's become one of my favorite Ornette Coleman albums (and yes, of course I love the 60's stuff!). Give this one several listens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Free jazz for vacationers May 30, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Ornette Coleman pulls together a Prime Time band with some unfamiliar names. First of all, there's a keyboard player - Dave Bryant. He's not very prominent in the mix, and his sound blends in with guitarists Chris Rosenberg and Ken Wessel (also new names). So, it doesn't change the sound very much. The bassists are Albert MacDowell, who played with Ornette before, and Brad Jones, who went on to play with Dave Douglas's electric groups. Denardo Coleman is on the drums, and Badal Roy plays percussion. The CD starts off with "Street Blues", a very good happy song. There's a turn to left field with "Search For Life" - Ornette brings in a woman to rap and an R&B-sounding bassist. The rap is a positive one, about how we're all the same and should love each other. The next 14 songs can be summarized as being similar to "Street Blues" -- very good happy songs. "Bach Prelude" stands out for its classical feel -- the first half is formal, then the second half is jamming over a stiff rhythm. Some Prime Time songs on other albums get a little lost when the rhythm gets sloppy, but the group stays in the same pocket throughout. The sound is reverberant, contributing to the dreamy, happy sound.

This is highly recommended for Ornette Coleman fans. You really get the sense from this CD that Ornette is the consumate melodic player with a positive outlook on life.
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