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New York Is Now!
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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New York Is Now
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Audio CD, Import, Limited Edition, December 15, 2017
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Released in 1968, New York Is Now! by jazz saxophonist, Ornette Coleman, will be reissued as part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl initiative spearheaded by current Blue Note Records President, Don Was.
1. The Garden of Souls (Side A)
2. Toy Dance (Side A)
3. We Now Interrupt For A Commercial (Side B)
4. Broad Way Blues (Side B)
5. Round Trip (Side B)
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February 13, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Admittedly, I was underwhelmed when I first listened to Ornette Coleman's recordings from this late-60s period. In retrospect, I can't understand why I felt this way and can only say that I'm glad I eventually rectified that oversight. From the opening song, "The Garden of Souls", New York Is Now is a strong set. Fellow saxophonist Dewey Redman and the bass/drum tandem of Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones work well with Coleman. How they stack up in comparison to Coleman's late 50s group with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins is a judgment I'll leave to true jazz aficionados. I can only say that they all seem to have bought into Coleman's musical approach with noteworthy results. To the extent that there's a disclaimer, I would say only that "We Now Interrupt For a Commercial" is a less than stellar ending to the album and this probably isn't the best starting point for anyone wanting to explore Coleman's work. On that front, The Shape of Jazz to Come is the obvious touchstone, though, his mid-60s live albums from The Golden Circle in Stockholm are also appealing.
July 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Recorded on the same dates in 1968 as "Love Call," "New York Is Now" pairs Ornette with Dewey Redman (yes, Joshua's father) on tenor sax, and two-thirds of rhythm trio for the late 'Trane quartet (Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones). Tracks "The Garden of Souls" and "Broad Way Blues" are the stand outs, with Ornette and Dewey taking flight. My reservation at awarding a fifth star for this recording comes from the fact that this "second" pianoless quartet just doesn't quite measure up to the Atlantic group of the early 60s (Cherry, Haden and Higgins). Despite the fact that Garrsion and Elvin feed the group creative foundations to build upon, it just seems to me that Ornette is running out of new ideas. Perhaps this is why he made such drastic changes in a few years time.
August 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Ornette holds on to Dewey & borrows Jimmy Garrison & Elvin Jones from Trane's side of the tracks for some steamy blowing sessions (see Love Call). The disciplined playing of Jimmy & Elvin keep the horns from wandering too far out in these riff driven compositions. No attempts are made to disguise the Southwest boogie 'n' blues roots. An exceptional one-time quartet collaboration. "Garden of Souls" indeed. Four great souls & soul to spare. Essential Sixties improvisational music.
February 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I say "hidden" because Ornette fanatics have always known about this record and it's magic. However, to people just discovering Ornette this one tends to fall beneath the cracks. This point of view is a shame as everyones playing is coherent,ever shifting, and swinging. Dewey's solo intro into Garden of Souls quite frankly is worth the record alone.
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