Yoko Ono (with Ornette Coleman): Aos
Plastic Ono Band
Plastic Ono Band (RCD 10414)
Composed by Yoko Ono.
Recorded: rehearsal tape, February 1968
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
This is a summit meeting of sorts between two of the best-known figures of the avant-garde. For most of the song, Yoko Ono's gloomy wordless vocal improvising serves as a viable companion for Ornette Coleman's minimalist trumpet (yes, trumpet). About 4 minutes into this 7-minute song, her peacefully dissonant sighs quickly escalate into full-throated screaming, equivalent to having one's eardrums punctured by an ice pick. Coleman's band quickly gets behind her sudden release, ratcheting up their own ferocity for about 45 seconds, until the song settles back into its prior dirge.
"Aos" shows that Ono's voice can work as an instrument if placed in the right setting. If only she would refrain from all that dead-gummed yelling.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron