Ornette Coleman: Faces and Places


Faces and Places


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 4, 1965


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

Compositionally, "Faces and Places" is of a type with such earlier start-and-stop, bebop-ish Ornette Coleman tunes as "Folk Tale" from This is Our Music or "Forerunner" from Change of the Century. In execution, however, there are differences, one being the absence here of Don Cherry. Whereas the older recordings had the trumpeter on hand to spice up the ensembles and provide another solo voice, now Ornette's alto is the lone horn. As a consequence, Coleman seems to play longer than on his quartet recordings, which is not a bad thing. He ratchets up the intensity to a higher level, due in part, one suspects, to the extended solo time and the fact that it was recorded live. Another reason is the presence of drummer Charles Moffett, a grittier player than Ed Blackwell, his immediate predecessor in the band. Moffett's ride cymbal is heavier, his accompaniment patterns and fills generally more raucous and active. In contrast, bassist David Izenson plays so soft (or is so under-recorded), he's nearly inaudible at times, though one can feel his presence as lighter, more surface-oriented than previous Coleman bassists such as Charlie Haden or Jimmy Garrison. That said, Izenson's style certainly doesn't dampen the energy. If anything, his technical facility increases the sense of drive. This performance has a more visceral kick than much of Ornette's prior work, and is a fitting introduction to a new stage of his career.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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