Monday, June 30, 2008

Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (V)

Coleman's 1959 Shape of Jazz to Come is indisputably a classic jazz album. The album features his group's usual almost-sloppy performance of harmonised, almost contrapuntal melodies and melodic to twisted solo sections. The songs are better-written and more organised and accessible than the classic monolith of the Free Jazz album, and really do a much better job of showcasing the talents of the performers and Coleman's writing. "Lonely Woman" is covered on Naked City's eponymous debut album, and certainly the entire album fits with Naked City's mangled and bizarre approach to jazz, from flailing screeching solos to thoughtful, slow movement and tasty grooves. And despite being pure jazz (in its own voice and style), The Shape of Jazz to Come locks into aesthetic appeal from a variety of music - the organised harmony of western classical music, the sections and solos of jazz, the wildness of fast improvised music, and even the almost artistic sloppiness of some rawer black metal.

This album works for a variety of musical situations. It would most likely to appeal to almost any crowd of pretentious artistic types, or normal people, or music fans from a variety of backgrounds . . . you name it. I certainly recommend the album for at least a listen or two for everyone. It remains an artistic challenge despite being almost entirely unoffensive, and never gets bland or boring. Good stuff.

No comments: