LSM Newswire

Thursday, September 17, 2009

ORNETTE COLEMAN - Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8 PM / Massey Hall


Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 8 PM / Massey Hall

$89.50 - $69.50 - Call 416-872-4255 or online at

Or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office

Toronto, ON. -- Fifty years ago, saxophonist Ornette Coleman shook up the world of jazz with The Shape of Jazz to Come, a groundbreaking album whose influence has been felt by virtually every jazz musician. Coleman has always sought that most prized quality in jazz: freedom. His profound artistry was recognized in 2007 with both a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. His music continues to resonate powerfully, thanks to his deeply memorable concert at Massey Hall in 2005. ĺ─˙There are concerts in the world of jazz, plenty of concerts, and then there are events. Ornette Colemanĺ─˘s appearance in Toronto was both.ĺ─¨ --The Globe & Mail

Ornette Coleman is a jazz revolutionary. In the 1960s, he ignored regular harmonies and rhythms, and in the 1970s he applied to rock instrumentation his ĺ─˙harmolodicĺ─¨ theory with his group, Prime Time. The result was an influential jazz/rock/funk/ethnic musical sound with all melodies treated equally, that blew the minds of jazz fans world-wide.

When he started in the 1950s, Coleman changed the standard jazz practice in which musicians have performance autonomy. His new mode encompassed that ĺ─˙no one player has the lead; anyone can come out with it at any time.ĺ─¨ In the early 1960s, Coleman took a couple of years off from the stage to focus on learning other instruments like the trumpet and violin. He returned in the mid 1960s with new works for these instruments and ensembles traditionally considered ĺ─˙classicalĺ─¨ ĺ─ý wind quintets, large chamber ensembles, and vocalists. While he continued musical partnerships with Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Billy Higgins, Ed Blackwell, and tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, he rarely performed with a regular band. He also played with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, drummer Elvin Jones, and Yoko Ono, whose 1968 performance with Colemanĺ─˘s band is documented on her 1970 Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band.

Skies of America was written by Coleman in 1972, a long work for orchestra recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra. This album introduced his ĺ─˙harmolodyĺ─¨ theory. In 1987, Coleman released In All Languages, featuring a guest appearance by Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, a fan of Colemanĺ─˘s. Coleman continued experimenting for various instrumentations and ensembles, mixing acoustic with electric. In the 1990s, his music was re-discovered by modern jazz fans. In 1993 Colemanĺ─˘s monumental Atlantic recordings were released in a CD box set, Beauty Is a Rare Thing. In 1997, Coleman was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Also that year New Yorkĺ─˘s Lincoln Center hosted a festival of his work featuring a performance of Skies of America by the New York Philharmonic and the surviving members of Prime Time. He continues performing and experimenting in an art form he completely changed.

JAZZ @ MASSEY HALL Sponsored by TD Canada Trust

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