Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Follies 12 JUN 15



To celebrate the life of the recently ascended Ornette Coleman, here are three of what I like to call Cubist Haiku. Coleman was infamous as one of the great innovators of Jazz music creating what would be called "Free Jazz". At a time when the leading innovators were playing a style (Bebop) that relied on using notes of chords taken from a song's harmonic structure, Coleman eliminated chords from his written compositions and instruments that played chords from his band, a move that struck most as completely crazy. His most famous album "The Shape of Jazz to Come" set the jazz world on fire, and sparked endless debates. And yet, the songs worked, thanks in part to his wonderful ability to create melodies. Coleman was also known for his highly idiosyncratic use of language and sometimes seemingly circular logic. As time passed he came to be justified in his approach to the music but his semantic weirdness never waned. Here then are three haiku/senryu in his honor.

Ornate coal man
Mellow descends a fair well 
drifts into the missed

Cold man
A Shake of jazz to come
Free with Cherry 

Knot
composed of cords
or net

Among the alternate readings of the first piece is " Ornette Coleman/ melody sends a farewell/ drifts into the mist."
The second piece makes reference to Don Cherry, the long time trumpet player in Voleman's band and father of singer Neneh Cherry. 
And among the alternate readings of the third piece is "Not/composed of chords/ Ornette"

And until next we meet, may all your potatoes be sweet (and dusted with cinnamon.)




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