These hot, ultra-smart insurgents make music drawing on John Coltrane's sheets of sound, James Blood Ulmer's harmolodics
, and death metal blitzkrieg.
Coleman also created a musical system called Harmolodics
in which he applied orchestral techniques to albums like Skies Of America and Science Fiction at the start of the 70s.
His first solo album in three years focuses less on the outre harmolodics
of the Coleman school than it does on funk and the blues; working with such esteemed sidepersons as keyboardists Amina Claudine Myers and Bernie Worrell, drummer Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey, and bassist Bill Laswell, Ulmer cooks up a thick and spicy stew of funky mid-tempo beats, bluesy guitar solos and spiritual, sometimes mystical, spoken-word pronouncements.
It's conversation that this godfather of the postwar jazz avant-garde is after, an exchange of ideas that parallels the internal flow of musical ideas in his self-developed form, which he calls harmolodics.
For sixty years, Ornette Coleman has been making waves in life and in music with his idea of harmolodics.
Coleman: "I want to make harmolodics available to everyone, not just people playing tempered instruments.
When the ensemble sections kick in, with their almost diaphanous dissonances out of Ravel, they paradoxically come closer to realizing Coleman's goal of bringing harmolodics to classical music.
It's the central idea behind harmolodics, a declaration of the primacy of the improviser over composition, a lesson about the fortuitous but hard-working nature of maintaining individual freedom within any group structure.
Though individual notes and even tunes change, their textures, their interactions, their sense of themselves and each other is so well worked that you almost expect what they're doing, anticipate what's happening even though it's harmolodics and everyone has his own notes.
Harmolodics is what Coleman calls his kaleidoscopically hybridized idiom: the collapse of harmony, melody and time in a kind of post-Einsteinian universe.
Whereas in harmolodics someone might be playing minor, someone else augmented, someone else major--all at the same time.
All this explosive energy opened a space for experiments by musicians like James Blood Ulmer (Ornette's first electric guitarist), who combined his versions of down-home blues, the Eastern modalities of Coltrane and the psychedelic era and Ornette's harmolodics