ORNETTE COLEMAN – To Whom Who Keeps A Record


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Hitherto a real rarity, this release compiles material recorded by Coleman in 1959 and 1960 that only ever surfaced as a Japanese release in 1975. The LP is comprised of two different sets, the first performed with Don Cherry on trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums, the second with a different drummer, Ed Blackwell. Opening with the supremely lyrical swing of ‘Music Always’, Coleman’s playful alto sax figures are beautifully complemented by Cherry’s elaborate soloing, which is the focus of the second half of the piece. Coleman ups the tempo for ‘Brings Goodness’ and ‘To Us’, which are populated by fluttering, bluesy phrases. ‘Some Other’ takes the form of a more ballad-like contemplative modal exploration, before ‘Motive For Its Use’ brings the disc to a close in a particularly upbeat, swinging fashion. Utterly essential material for Coleman completists, this release documents all but lost early emissions from the classic quartet line-ups.

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