I was at these shows, my old review here. Here’s a review of the same shows from the NY Times:

July 6, 1997
Ornette Coleman gets the treatment
By Jon Pareles

Ornette Coleman is a soft-spoken man, with the gentle, earnest voice of an associate professor at a state college. You might never guess that he has shaken up jazz and set off unending debates about the nature of musical freedom; that he has been denounced as an ignoramus and, more and more often, hailed as a genius. Now 67 years old, Coleman comes across not as a defiant crusader but as a quiet, ceaselessly curious man who could never help seeing things a little differently.

”I sometimes realize,” he says, ”that there is something on the earth that is free of everything but what created it, and that is the one thing that I have been trying to find.”

Sitting in his Harlem office, he wears a brightly patterned shirt and an equally bright, if clashing, vest. His wardrobe is true to his music, which revels in multiplicity — multiple keys, multiple tempos and multiple moods, somehow set in equilibrium by the mysterious rules of his evolving theory of music.

He calls that theory harmolodics, a word merging melody and harmony, and despite his best efforts, it is not easily explained. It has to do with moving beyond chord structures and song forms toward emotions and gestures.

Coleman, who has performed with not only jazz musicians but also ecstatic pipers from Morocco and the Grateful Dead, among others, tunes to moods, not keys. ”If I was playing with you, I would use your sound as a tonic,” Coleman says. ”Everyone’s tone gives you lots of information. If someone talks to you, even if they don’t tell you how they feel, you can hear a certain thing in their tone. The human voice doesn’t have to transpose; all it has to do is change its attitudes.”

Coleman says he has never fit in musically, not even growing up in Texas, where he started playing alto saxophone. ”When I was playing in dance bands,” he recalls, ”one time the guy gave me a solo on ‘Stardust,’ and I started playing and people stopped dancing and they started listening. The guy fired me. It wasn’t that I was playing wrong. But I had outgrown my music environment.”

So he built his own. He formed a groundbreaking quartet in California, then brought it to New York, where it started arguments that have never ended. By the late 1950’s, he had already broken free of conventional harmony and theme-solos-theme structures. Yet his music was too tuneful, too gutsy, to be considered atonal. And while some listeners have been baffled by Coleman and his music, he has never been entirely rejected.

Still, in the past, Coleman has made bitter pronouncements about being underappreciated. Two decades ago, he was asking $300,000 per album and got no takers. ”I’ve never had an audience problem,” he insists. ”I’ve always just had a business problem. It’s very hard for anyone to become successful just by only doing what they do.”

In the 1970’s, when he repositioned his alto saxophone amid the electrified hurly-burly of his group Prime Time — two guitars, two basses, two drummers — rock fans started paying attention as jazz die-hards plugged their ears. A MacArthur Foundation ”genius” grant arrived in 1994. And this year, Coleman is getting the full treatment of a classical composer: membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a full-scale retrospective in Paris.

This week Lincoln Center presents a four-night Coleman retrospective called ”? Civilization — A Harmolodic Celebration.” On Tuesday and Wednesday, his symphonic-length set of themes and variations, ”Skies of America,” will be performed by the New York Philharmonic and Prime Time. On Thursday, he is to rejoin the surviving members of his 1950’s quartet; on Friday, he performs a multimedia work, ”Tone Dialing,” with Prime Time, dancers, rappers and video.

In some ways, his music remains true to Texas, which breeds gutsy saxophone players and roadhouse hybrids. Yet Coleman is also one of jazz’s most urbane thinkers, graceful amid a flood of information, responding to everything around him while never looking back. Steeped in bebop, he knows the rules but dances around them, treating tonal harmony the way M. C. Escher treats perspective. And with all his sophistication, he reaches for the beauty of the untutored: the irregular lines of rural blues and country, the open-ended naturalness of a child’s made-up song. American art, always seeking wise innocents, has found one in Coleman; like Huckleberry Finn, he’s the country bumpkin who outwits the city slickers, a winning outsider who stays true to his own code.

ornette_coleman
Ornette Coleman – of Human Feelings
Ornette Coleman – Who’s Crazy
Ornette Coleman – Opening the Caravan of Dreams
Steve Lacy – 5 x Monk 5 x Lacy
Steve Lacy – November
Steve Lacy and Gil Evans – Paris Blues
Steve Lacy, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski – Threads
McCoy Tyner – Inner Voices
Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Land of the Sun
Jimmy Giuffre – Fusion
The Jimmy Giuffre 3
Jimmy Giuffre – Western Suite
Jimmy Giuffre – Free Fall
The Modern Jazz Qt – Third Stream Music
Keith Jarrett – Rio
James Blood Ulmer – Tales of Captain Black
John Luther Adams – Strange and Sacred Noise
John Luther Adams – Inuksuit

May 31, 2015 - Johnson City, NY

May 31, 2015 – Johnson City, NY

Simone Dinnerstein – Goldberg Variations
Simone Dinnerstein – Bach – A Strange Beauty
Bill Evans – Since We Met
Brand X – Timeline
Finnesz – Venice
World Saxophone Quartet – Four Now
Gilgamesh – Another Fine Tune You’ve Got Me Into
McCoy Tyner – 4×4
McCoy Tyner – 13th House
McCoy Tyner – La Leyenda de La Hora
Keith Jarrett – Creation
Phil Miller – Cutting Both Ways
Phil Miller – Spilt Seconds
David Torn – Cloud About Mercury
Steve Lacy and Brion Gysin – Songs
Gary Peacock – Now This
John Luther Adams – The Place We Began
Rush – Farwell to Kings
Rush – 2112

April 2015 - West Village, NYC

April 2015 – West Village, NYC

Brad Lubman, Signal, Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – You’ve Been Watching Me
Mal Waldron & Marion Brown – Song of Love and Regret
Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
Don Cherry – Orient
Bill Evans Trio with Stan Getz – But Beautiful
Bud Powell – the Genius of Bud Powell
Art Ensemble of Chicago – Thelonious Sphere Monk
Thelonious Monk – Paris 1969
Leonard Bernstein, Labeques – West Side Story
Frank Zappa – Roxy by Proxy
Frank Zappa – 200 Motels
Kazumi Watanabe, Jeff Berlin, Bill Bruford – Spice of Life
Guthrie Govan – Erotic Cakes
Howard Roberts – Antelope Freeway/Equinox Express Elevator

20150428 W VillageStephan Micus – Ocean
Don Cherry – Dona Nostra
Don Cherry – Here & Now
Louis Sclavis – L’affrontement des pretendants
Charlie Mariano – Jyothi
L Shankar – Song for Everyone
Sam Rivers – Streams
Sam Rivers Trio Live
Sam Rivers – Contrasts
Elvin Jones – Tribute to John Coltrane
Charles Mingus – Oh Yeah
Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
Scott Henderson – Live

150430_bootleg4_coverAh! I certainly enjoyed the previous volumes of this series – Miles Davis, the Bootleg Series – and I’d been wondering if Columbia was going to actually continue it.

– interesting, they combine the acoustic bands with the electric years. Fans of it all are in for a treat, disciples of the electric band have a chance to hear classic Miles acoustic bands in action.
– set does not include the flashy, sequined costume Warner Bros. years.

MILES DAVIS AT NEWPORT 1955-1975: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 4
(Columbia/Legacy Recordings 88875081952)
(All tracks previously unreleased, except where otherwise indicated)

CD 1
(July 17, 1955: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)

Selections: 1. Spoken Introductions by Duke Ellington and Gerry Mulligan • 2. Hackensack • 3. ’Round Midnight (previously released) • 4. Now’s The Time • (All-Star Jam Session: Miles Davis, trumpet; Zoot Sims, tenor saxophone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Thelonious Monk, piano; Percy Heath, bass; Connie Kay, drums.)
(July 3, 1958: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 5. Spoken Introduction by Willis Conover (previously released) • 6. Ah-Leu-Cha (previously released) • 7. Straight, No Chaser (previously released) • 8. Fran-Dance (previously released) • 9. Two Bass Hit (previously released) • 10. Bye Bye Blackbird (previously released) • 11. The Theme (previously released) . (Miles Davis, trumpet; Cannonball Adderley, alto saxophone; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Bill Evans, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums.)

CD 2
(July 4, 1966: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)

Selections: 1. Gingerbread Boy • 2. All Blues • 3. Stella By Starlight • 4. R.J. • 5. Seven Steps To Heaven • 6. The Theme / Closing Announcement by Leonard Feather.
(July 2, 1967: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)
Selections: 7. Spoken Introduction by Del Shields • 8. Gingerbread Boy • 9. Footprints • 10. ’Round Midnight • 11. So What • 12. The Theme • 13. Closing Announcement by Del Shields
(1966 & 1967: Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums.)

CD 3
(July 5, 1969: Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI)

Selections: 1. Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (previously released) • 2. Sanctuary (previously released) • 3. It’s About That Time / The Theme (previously released) . (Miles Davis, trumpet; Chick Corea, electric piano; Dave Holland, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums.)
(November 1, 1973: Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Berlin)
Selections: 4. Band warming up / voice over introduction • 5. Turnaroundphrase • 6. Tune In 5 • 7. Ife • 8. Untitled Original • 9. Tune In 5. (Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Dave Liebman, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)
(July 1, 1975: Newport Jazz Festival – NY, Avery Fisher Hall)
Selection: 10. Mtume. (Miles Davis, trumpet, organ; Sam Morrison, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute; Pete Cosey, guitar, percussion; Reggie Lucas, guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Al Foster, drums; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)

CD 4
(October 22, 1971 : Newport Jazz Festival In Europe, Neue Stadthalle, Dietikon, Switzerland)

Selections: 1. Directions • 2. What I Say • 3. Sanctuary • 4. It’s About That Time • 5. Bitches Brew • 6. Funky Tonk • 7. Sanctuary.
(Miles Davis, trumpet; Gary Bartz, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Keith Jarrett, electric piano, organ; Michael Henderson, electric bass; Ndugu Leon Chancler, drums; Don Alias, percussion; James Mtume Forman, percussion.)

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