Last Call Review: Ornette Coleman / Something Else!!! / OJC Remasters

Feb 11, 2012

Ornette Coleman's emergence in 1958 on Contemporary Records album Something Else!!! was the dawn of a career which would present a revolutionary new approach to playing jazz music and influence countless forward- looking jazz artists. Recorded February 10, 22 and March 24, 1958, in Los Angeles, this recording was the first of two albums made for Les Koenig's influential West Coast label.  It is without doubt an essential recording to have in a jazz library. Last Call will feature music from this recording this month.       

Born March 9, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas, Ornette Coleman is known worldwide for his introduction of "Free Jazz" to the world. Ornette Coleman's harmolodics, where the mood and the melody of the tune became the source of improvisation, and not the chords, declared the dawn of "Free Jazz". This dawn was not warmly received by all quarters. Reaction to the new music was often highly polarized. It fundamentally changed the Jazz landscape, offering newfound freedom to those musicians who would take the chance. Many did, including such luminaries as John Coltrane. The results served as a  musical backdrop to the turbulent decade of the 1960's, and as yet another milestone in the development of Jazz in the 20th Century.

In the 21st Century, Coleman, now in his 80s, continues a highly successful career. In 2007 his recording Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music, in addition to a Grammy nomination. Coleman himself received a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 2007. He is a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and maintains an active touring schedule. His website is