COMPOSERS: Ornette Coleman
LABELS: Atlantic Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: Atlantic Reissues: Ornette Coleman
PERFORMER: Ornette Coleman
CATALOGUE NO: 8122-75208-2
Atlantic Records, which this year celebrates its 50th year, has always been a different kind of jazz label. Co-founded by brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler and Herb Abramson, it is usually associated with world-conquering rock. But Atlantic was born out of jazz and its vaults contain some of the music’s defining moments.
By the time he cut Free Jazz in 1961, Ornette Coleman (the only surviving member of this illustrious group) had already divided critics over the validity of his form-less art. By directing a double quartet through wailing atonal choruses and cladding the result in a Jackson Pollock sleeve, Coleman drove the wedge deeper still. Garry Booth