Ornette Coleman: First Take


First Take


Ornette Coleman (alto sax)


Free Jazz (WEA Warner 25110)

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Ornette Coleman (alto sax), Eric Dolphy (bass clarinet), Don Cherry (pocket trumpet), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Scott LaFaro (bass), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums), Ed Blackwell (drums).

Composed by Ornette Coleman


Recorded: New York, December 21, 1960


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

It is certainly no coincidence that the development of the rhythm section coincides with the progression of the great jazz bandleaders. This unwritten codependency is indispensable to jazz history. Ornette Coleman launched a series of firsts with Free Jazz, not least importantly the collectively improvising "double rhythm section" that ironically stripped away everything except the bare minimum of bass and drums. Also note- worthy is the reputation of section mates LaFaro, Haden, Higgins and Blackwell as consciously melodic players, contrasted by their intense, seemingly random playing here. But behind the occasional chaos of "First Take" ultimately lies the same melodic players searching for and finding their melody, forever legitimizing the option to be "set free."

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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