Ornette Coleman: Dawn




Ornette Coleman (alto sax)


The Ornette Coleman Trio at the "Golden Circle" Stockholm, Volume One (Blue Note CDP-84224)

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Ornette Coleman (alto sax), David Izenson (bass), Charles Moffett (drums).

Composed by Ornette Coleman


Recorded: live in Stockholm, Sweden, December 3, 1965


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

A ballad, Ornette-style. The aching theme meanders, never resolving or coming to rest exactly where you think it should. Ornette's alto and Izenson's arco bass begin with a tightly wound, presumably improvised introduction. The composed melody is a bit sentimental, stopping short of being maudlin. Like many of Coleman's ballad themes, it vaguely suggests something one might have heard before without being openly derivative of anything specific. In his solo, Ornette is spectacularly successful in holstering his chops and concentrating on lyric invention. Izenson bows in cello range, his gently expressive vibrato in apt service of liquid melody. Moffett's manner of accompaniment and placing accents is unconventional. Rather than simply snap shut his hi-hat on 2 and 4, for instance, he'll obsess over it with his sticks, subdividing the beat in unpredictable ways, while maintaining the pulse. The rhythm section is highly attuned to Ornette, interpreting his slightest suggestion as a command, following him in every direction—melodically, rhythmically, harmonically. A classic performance by a classic band.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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