Ornette Coleman

Body Meta - 1976

With legions of jazzers of the early-mid 1970s plugging in to Miles electric groove, it's no surprise that Ornette Coleman dove head first into a genre he'd been toying with for years. Leading a band he dubbed "Prime Time," Coleman pressed on through a series of albums of collective improvisation and loose, angular funk that began with 1975's Dancing in Your Head, but reached a frothy peak on Body Meta the following year. Although the album was pulled from tapes recorded during Dancing in Your Head, the two guitar, bass and drums lineup created an LP that was wholly unique to Coleman's discography - the furious grooves would boil up for a short while and disintegrate before they could set in; guitar tones are harsh throughout; and the alto sax erupts all over the proceedings - drawing surprisingly valid comparisons to Beefheart's late 60s output. 31 years on, this stuff sounds fresh enough to have come out last Tuesday. It's not an easy listen, this slightly skewed take on avant funk, but that seems to be the purpose here- just check out Coleman's original liner notes for proof:

Enter - Prime Time in forming a Harmolodic Band, where the needs of the composer and the players found challenging questions. Prime Time is not a jazz, classical, rock or blues ensemble. It is pure Harmolodic where all forms that can, or could exist yesterday, today, or tomorrow can exist in the now or the moment without a second.

The great Infinite Foolishness beat me to the punch by posting a slew of great Ornette Coleman albums, including Body Meta. Head on over to their turf to survey the cornucopia of awesomeness.


infinitefool said...

Thanks for the shout out. My copy of Body Meta turned out to be seriously flawed, so I took it down. The good folks out there better grab it here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - don't know what to make of it - but i keep it on! later, D