Ornette Coleman – Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Recordings (2022) [FLAC, 24bit, 192 kHz]

Ornette Coleman - Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Recordings (2022) [FLAC, 24bit, 192 kHz] Download

Artist: Ornette Coleman
Album: Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Recordings
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2022
Audio Format: FLAC (tracks) 24bit, 192 kHz
Duration: 01:24:25
Total Tracks: 18
Total Size: 3,45 GB


1-1. Ornette Coleman – Invisible (04:11)
1-2. Ornette Coleman – The Blessing (04:42)
1-3. Ornette Coleman – Jayne (07:16)
1-4. Ornette Coleman – Chippie (05:36)
1-5. Ornette Coleman – The Disguise (02:47)
1-6. Ornette Coleman – Angel Voice (04:18)
1-7. Ornette Coleman – Alpha (04:10)
1-8. Ornette Coleman – When Will The Blues Leave? (04:57)
1-9. Ornette Coleman – The Sphinx (04:14)
1-10. Ornette Coleman – Tomorrow Is The Question! (03:08)
1-11. Ornette Coleman – Tears Inside (04:59)
1-12. Ornette Coleman – Mind And Time (03:07)
1-13. Ornette Coleman – Compassion (04:34)
1-14. Ornette Coleman – Giggin’ (03:17)
1-15. Ornette Coleman – Rejoicing (03:59)
1-16. Ornette Coleman – Lorraine (05:54)
1-17. Ornette Coleman – Turnaround (07:52)
1-18. Ornette Coleman – Endless (05:15)

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In the span of 12 months, Ornette Coleman released two albums on Lester Koenig’s L.A.-based Contemporary Records. Known as one of the primary homes of the cool West Coast sound, the label was something of an unlikely home for Ornette, who shared little in common with the other musicians on the roster besides a Los Angeles mailing address. But Koenig gave the saxophonist a shot when most other labels wouldn’t, and gave him the resources to document his rapidly developing approach to jazz composition and improvisation. Of course, this approach was not greeted with universal acclaim; in fact, most of the jazz cognosce gnti were outright hostile to it, and the albums—Something Else!!! and Tomorrow is the Question! (remastered and repackaged in 2022 as Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Recordings)—had a far less seismic impact than they deserved. While Ornette would quickly move on to Atlantic Records (his debut was released the same month as Tomorrow is the Question!) recording a string of iconic albums in the process, the groundwork he was laying on the two Contemporary albums was constrained not by ability or vision, but by more pragmatic factors.
On Something Else!!!, Koenig contractually obligated Ornette to utilize a piano on the recording. And while Walter Norris’s playing here is excellent, it also anchors the album to a jazz tradition, providing beefy chords that keep Ornette from reaching full flight. Another factor: neither Norris nor any of the other musicians on the sessions—save Don Cherry—were part of Ornette’s regular band, and seem largely uninterested in the improvisation-forward approach that Ornette was taking. The result is an album that, depending on how you tilt your head, is either a highly competent, straight-ahead post-bop adventure with occasional moments of shocking solo pyrotechnics, or a wobbly, slightly discordant attempt to smush together harmony and melody atop a jazz-based infrastructure. Cuts like “Chippie” and the hard-swinging “Angel Voice” are so right down the middle it’s hard to believe this is the same man who would, just a few years later, release an album that sounded like its Jackson Pollock cover art. Yet, you can nonetheless feel Coleman champing at the bit. “Jayne,” for instance, is probably the most traditional and bouncy hard bop number, but it’s also the one that most clearly foreshadows where Coleman is headed (his signature harmolodic “theme” pops up for the first time), if only he is allowed the freedom to do so.

Freedom comes tantalizingly close on Tomorrow is the Question!. On this second of Ornette’s two releases for Contemporary, the contractually obligated piano player of Something Else!!! is jettisoned, although Coleman is still hemmed in by the fact that his regular, non-Don Cherry band is again replaced by another clutch of Contemporary regulars (bassist Percy Heath and, incredibly, drummer Shelly Manne). Still, the simple addition-by-subtraction in the instrument lineup does wonders for the material. While not approaching the bare-metal intensity of his later capital-F Free Jazz, the interpolation of a solid (and swinging) rhythm section and the dual horns of Coleman and Cherry provides a bracing dynamic. This group never gets too far out, but, from the opening notes of “Tomorrow Is The Question,” there is a clear difference in approach between this album and its predecessor. Harmolodics are coming to the fore, and the bouncy, open-ended style—Charles Mingus called it “organized disorganization”—that Coleman would become known for is establishing itself. Whether or not it’s due to the fact that the album was recorded as Ornette was signing to Atlantic (and Nesuhi Ertegun’s implied promises of unrestrained creative license), Coleman’s work here may not be “free jazz,” but it’s definitely unshackled. There are no skronks, but there are also no chords and no traditional harmonies; while Ornette would make greater leaps his Atlantic releases, he made tremendous strides on these first Contemporary albums. – Jason Ferguson

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