The Shape of Jazz To Come

Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz To Come
Critic Score
Based on 1 review
User Score
Based on 48 ratings
1959 Ratings: #2
October 1, 1959 / Release Date
LP / Format
Atlantic / Label
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EMR
91
Former humble blues alto saxophonist in Texas, Ornette Coleman was already a master of the jazz studies in the late 50s, having a series of fantastic releases under his belt, and a full-fledged artistic vision that led to a deconstruction of the whole jazz panorama. While on his previous works he challenged concepts of modal-music and tonal center, he went even further on the stripped-down manifesto of The Shape of Jazz to Come, a literal title for a short, but incredibly eloquent (and bold) ... read more
MasterCrackfox
75
Another solid jazz classic, but I had a hard time focusing on it for a long duration. More of a track by track listen than it is one singular album to a certain degree (could just be my lack of focus this week)

Favorite track: Focus on Sanity
100
A lot of people are unnecessarily afraid of Ornette Coleman because the words "free jazz" and "Avante-garde" have been used to his music. But his music is very approachable. This album is a big place to start for people who are new to Ornette. This album caused a stir in 1959 when it was expected to be released, with jazz critics exploding in wrath. The reason for all this furor? He chose not to use a chordal instrument on this music. No piano, no guitar.
CheapandLethal
95
Exceptional
Doofy
84
For me the big issue with free jazz isn't actually the lack of structure which is what I presumed would be the deal breaker as to whether I can enjoy it or not, rather it's the tonal palette.

If I enjoy every sound, every timber, if they're all honey to my ears then honestly free wheel away to your hearts content. The minute an instrument or vocal enters the mix that I dislike then the whole project collapses like a deck of cards.

I like the palette Ornette is working with on this one, ... read more
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Added on: January 31, 2014