Thursday, 11 June 2015

Ornette Coleman, March 9, 1930 - June 11, 2015

Tomorrow was the question few musicians could answer in 1959 - can they ever? Posing it was everything then (1959) and now, except that now tomorrow looks stale in the state of Jazz. Excuse my cynicism but the death, today, of Ornette Coleman, serves to remind me of how much what he did meant and how little promise there seems to be today. A typical classicist's complaint - 'It's all been done'. Perhaps for the mouldy old figs Ornette never did achieve 'classic' status, but as you know, if it was up to them everyone would still be playing Swing and Trad, never mind Be-Bop. 

I'm not one for long eulogies when a favourite musicians dies; so much recognition of such events on the social network smacks of 'Look how hip I am to know blah-blah'. Yet when you've been listening to someone for over 30 years and seen them 'live' a few times, it's hard to resist saying something. Well, forget how 'cool' liking Ornette Coleman may be, the simple fact is that he meant, still means a hell of a lot in my listening world. I'll be listening to him for as many tomorrows as I have left. No question about that. 

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