“The Shape Of Jazz To Come” was the first avant-garde jazz album. It was recorded in 1959 by Ornette Colemen’s pianoless quartet. Music website experts tell me that all the songs start with “an introductory melody followed by several minutes of improv and then a repetition of the main theme.” Many people mark this album’s release as the birth of free jazz. Rolling Stone magazine lists the album as one of the top 500 most important. Here’s “Lonely Woman”
**********WARNING: Geezer sermon to follow**********
All art forms are “in better shape” when there are artists who care enough to experiment with their art and create new innovations. I don’t hear much innovation in music these days. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere deep underground. But even if I found it, I’m probably too old to enjoy it much. I don’t imagine that we’ll still be talking about most of the albums made today 50 years from now. The golden age of jazz is probably dead. Nowadays it seems we mostly get pretty kids reworking the standards and legends paired with pop stars to make a more marketable package. But here’s the thing, I really like the pretty kids who remake the standards! Heck I even like the legends with pop stars. Why? Because I’m a wacky bundle of whimsical contradiction! Besides, you know the old saying: “Hypocrisy is a dish best served cold, with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top.” Mmmm hypocrisy!