Ornette Coleman: Snowflakes and Sunshine


Snowflakes and Sunshine


Ornette Coleman (violin, trumpet)


The Ornette Coleman Trio at the "Golden Circle" Stockholm, Volume Two (Blue Note CDP-84225)

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Ornette Coleman (violin, trumpet), David Izenson (bass), Charles Moffett (drums).

Composed by Ornette Coleman


Recorded: live in Stockholm, Sweden, December 4, 1965


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Ten-and-a-half minutes of high-energy, wholly improvised Free Jazz, "Snowflakes and Sunshine" features Ornette employing his (then) newly acquired violin and trumpet chops. As could be expected, Coleman's hardwired auto-didacticism led him to approach the instruments idiosyncratically. Unlike his sax melodies—which are often diatonic, and in any case deal with standard intervals more often than not—his violin line is chromatic to the point of being microtonal, alternating scraping double-stops with lightning-fast squiggles. His trumpet playing is similarly expressionistic, if not quite as chromatic. Coleman's technique on both instruments is coarse, yet he clearly has ample means to express himself. David Izenson's rapid-fire pizzicato bass all but disappears in the shadow of drummer Charles Moffett's tom-toms and bass drum, though he lends the music a palpable momentum. Moffett displays why he might have been Coleman's most exciting drummer. His beat is steady, as the surrounding accents and rhythms are in constant flux. This music is restless and unrelenting. Though it lacks almost entirely the grace that characterizes Ornette's sax-based music, it possesses its own feral beauty.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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