Tagged with "coleman"
Ornette Coleman on Voices of Jazz
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: ornette coleman voices jazz word life production new quality entertainment

The father of the controversial free jazz movement, and a saxophonist and composer who became one of the prime innovators in jazz and modern music.

One of the most important (and controversial) innovators of the jazz avant-garde, Ornette Coleman gained both loyal followers and lifelong detractors when he seemed to burst on the scene in 1959 fully formed. Although he, and Don Cherry in his original quartet, played opening and closing melodies together, their solos dispensed altogether with chordal improvisation and harmony, instead playing quite freely off of the mood of the theme. Coleman's tone (which purposely wavered in pitch) rattled some listeners, and his solos were emotional and followed their own logic. In time, his approach would be quite influential, and the quartet's early records still sound advanced many decades later.

Unfortunately, Coleman's early development was not documented. Originally inspired by Charlie Parker, he started playing alto at 14 and tenor two years later. His early experiences were in R&B bands in Texas, including those of Red Connors and Pee Wee Crayton, but his attempts to play in an original style were consistently met with hostility both by audiences and fellow musicians. Coleman moved to Los Angeles in the early '50s, where he worked as an elevator operator while studying music books. He met kindred spirits along the way in Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Ed Blackwell, Bobby Bradford, Charles Moffett, and Billy Higgins, but it was not until 1958 (after many unsuccessful attempts to sit in with top L.A. musicians) that Coleman had a nucleus of musicians who could play his music. He appeared as part of Paul Bley's quintet for a short time at the Hillcrest Club (which is documented on live records), and recorded two very interesting albums for Contemporary. With the assistance of John Lewis, Coleman and Cherry attended the Lenox School of Jazz in 1959, and had an extended stay at the Five Spot in New York. This engagement alerted the jazz world toward the radical new music, and each night the audience was filled with curious musicians who alternately labeled Coleman a genius or a fraud.

The Shape of Jazz to Come

During 1959-1961, beginning with The Shape of Jazz to Come, Coleman recorded a series of classic and startling quartet albums for Atlantic. With Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, or Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Billy Higgins or Ed Blackwell on drums, Coleman created music that would greatly affect most of the other advanced improvisers of the 1960s, including John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, and the free jazz players of the mid-'60s. One set, a nearly 40-minute jam called Free Jazz (which other than a few brief themes was basically a pulse-driven group free improvisation) had Coleman, Cherry, Haden, LaFaro, Higgins, Blackwell, Dolphy, and Freddie Hubbard forming a double quartet.

In 1962, Coleman, feeling that he was worth much more money than the clubs and his label were paying him, surprised the jazz world by retiring for a period. He took up trumpet and violin (playing the latter as if it were a drum), and in 1965 he recorded a few brilliant sets on all his instruments with a particularly strong trio featuring bassist David Izenzon and drummer Charles Moffett. Later in the decade, Coleman had a quartet with the very complementary tenor Dewey Redman, Haden, and either Blackwell or his young son Denardo Coleman on drums. In addition, Coleman wrote some atonal and wholly composed classical works for chamber groups, and had a few reunions with Don Cherry.



In the early '70s, Coleman entered the second half of his career. He formed a "double quartet" comprised of two guitars, two electric bassists, two drummers, and his own alto. The group, called Prime Time, featured dense, noisy, and often witty ensembles in which all of the musicians are supposed to have an equal role, but the leader's alto always ended up standing out. He now called his music harmolodics (symbolizing the equal importance of harmony, melody, and rhythm), although free funk (combining together loose funk rhythms and free improvising) probably fits better; among his sidemen in Prime Time were drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma, in addition to his son Denardo. Prime Time was a major (if somewhat unacknowledged) influence on the M-Base music of Steve Coleman and Greg Osby. Pat Metheny (a lifelong Ornette admirer) collaborated with Coleman on the intense Song X, Jerry Garcia played third guitar on one recording, and Coleman had irregular reunions with his original quartet members in the 1980s.

Coleman was signed to Verve in the '90s and recorded sparingly as the 21st century began, appearing on Joe Henry's Scar in 2000 and on single tracks on Lou Reed's Raven and Eddy Grant's Hearts & Diamonds, both released in 2002. He also released the live album Sound Grammar on his own label of the same name in 2006; the album won a Pulitzer Prize for Music the following year. In 2007 he was also honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Coleman died of cardiac arrest in Manhattan on June 11, 2015 at the age of 85. He had remained true to his highly original vision throughout his career and, although often considered controversial, was an obvious giant of jazz.

Biography by Scott Yanow

Source: AllMusic

Performer, writer, songstress, and poet-Khadijah does it all Tags: Khadijah ali coleman liberated muse word life production future entertainment feature blog

Khadijah Ali-Coleman is founder of Liberated Muse Arts Group, a production house for cultural arts events.

She has an extensive resume in the performing arts, appearing as a performer on numerous stages across the country. As an actor and poet, she has won awards and recognition for her moving work as a performer, producing artist and wordsmith, awarded recognition as a “Woman of Power” from eMedia in 2011, and in 2012 recognized by the Prince George’s County, Maryland Innovation Fund as a “Top Forty UNDER 40″ awardee in the Arts & Humanities.

She edited the books Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (Outskirts Press, 2009) and Liberated Muse Volume II: Betrayal Wears a Pretty Face (Liberated Muse Publications, 2012) and released her first poetry chapbook Revisionist Tale in 2010.  She has appeared in numerous books, journals and creative writing online sites. Since then, she has worked with emerging writers as a creativity coach and freelance editor. Currently, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at both Prince George’s Community College and Northern Virginia Community College in their departments of Communication Studies and Theater. Two of her original plays have been produced, her second play “Running: AMOK” debuting in the 2010 Capital Fringe Fest. Her production “In Her Words”, a musical theatrical production, shorter than a typical play, is currently touring, produced by Liberated Muse.

I’M HONORED TO INTRODUCE TO YOU, POET, SONGSTRESS, AND WRITER, “KHADIJAH MOON ALI-COLEMAN” Tags: Khadijah moon ali coleman featured artist word life production

Khadija “Moon” Ali-Coleman is an educator, writer, and arts communications professional with significant work in theater arts, music, and youth development. She currently balances work as a creativity coach and educators, helping others grow artistically and holistically as communicators into today’s high-tech and often convoluted world. Currently, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College in the department of Communication Studies and Theater. Khadijah has performed nationally for over fifteen years. She honed her skills as a performer in Washington DC along the popular U Street corridor, and Adam’s Morgan area growing up, often showcasing her poetry and original music at such popular spots as Mr. Henry’s, Bar Nun, Cada Vez, Chief Ike’s, Mangos, and the Kaffa House. She appeared on the television show Showtime of the Apollo after appearing (and placing) at the weekly Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in New York City and she’s performed as a vocalist at dozens of festivals and events. While in college, she expanded her performance experience in theater. She studied musical theater at Towson University during her graduate studies and was mentored by playwright Alonzo D. Lamont and writer/activist Dr. Acklyn Lynch while in undergraduate studies at UMBC. Her performance credits have included roles in The Vagina Monologues, The Medea Myth, The Life, and other contemporary plays.


A playwright, Khadijah has also written works for the stage, including her plays Running: AMOK and Shades of Black: a thought in progress. Production of Shades of Black: a thought in progress sparked her interest in using theater as a tool to reach and educate audiences on how to advocate and create change in their communities. Because of her work, she has been invited as a presenter to numerous national conferences including the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO) Conference, the Mosaic Literary Conference, and BlogHer Conference, to name of few. In 2008, she became a founding member of the theater company, The Saartjie Project, and that same year created the online social network Liberated Muse, an online portal for literary, performance, and visual artists.  Liberated Muse produces annual festivals and benefit concerts, including the annual Capital Hip Hop Soul Fest. She edited the Liberated Muse book anthology Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (Outskirts Press, 2009) in 2009 and is currently on tour promoting that and her chapbook Revisionist Tale (Liberated Muse Publications, 2010). The second volume in the anthology series, Betrayal Wears a Pretty Face will be released in 2012.


Khadijah’s work as a music writer and journalist can be found on on-line sites such as the award-winning SoulBounce.com, the legendary music brand SoulTrain.com, and the AOL-owned Patch.com.  She has worked as a news anchor for Washington DC-based Pacifica radio station WPFW 88.9 and her articles have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including Honey Magazine, East of the River, The Washington Informer, District Chronicles, The Baltimore Times, The Afro and The Hill Rag. She is editor of the blog Transforming Spaces into Art Places and pens her person blog Moon Mami Writes.

A member of Poets & Writers, PTO, the Washington Area Music Association, and ASCAP, Khadijah has been a member of the leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa for over fifteen years. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Towson University with a minor in Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies & Mass Media from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Moon’s prolific work has positively impacted the exposure of numerous emerging artists through her various roles as a journalist, event producer and educator.  She and her work as a playwright and founder of LiberatedMuse.com have been featured on NPR, Fox 5 News and in numerous print publications.

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