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equalled by few other jazzmen.”For Coleman there was also the vital influence that came from his work with church groups. In speaking of his 1973 trip to Joujouka, Morocco, to listen and play at, the annual Bou Jeloud festival of Master Musicians, Coleman recalled how: In Texas when I used to have to play for a country evangelist, healing people, doing things. . . . We’d get there and the piano would be in G, H there’d be no such a thing as a key. . . . Those things [people being changed] would happen. So I had that experience myself, when I was playing for evangelists or in church, that particular thing we’re talking about I think that’s more in church music. What I mean by church music, music that is totally created for an emotional experience. Coleman goes on to comment on the “meaning of the music at Joujouka,” but it is implied by his biographer that Coleman’s remarks also apply to the jazzman’s own work: It’s a human music. It’s about life conditions, not about losing your woman and, you know, baby will you please come back, and you know, I ,can’t live without you in the bed. It’s not that. It’s much deeper music. There is a music that has the quality to preserve life. The musicians there I’d heard had cured a white fellow of cancer with their music. I believe it. Later Litweiler quotes a longtime admirer of Coleman, his business manager John Snyder, who touches on this same basic theme: [Ornette] believes in the “healing” power of music and that there are as many ways of making music as there are people. He objects to the idea that there are mutually exclusive ways of going about it \(e.g., the “jazz” and “classical” traditions, to name “harmolodic” theory, which is his structure for people to express their emotions and themselves through music. After the success of his 1959 recordings, made in Los Angeles with his combo of Don Cherry on pocket trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums, Coleman moved to New York and worked with a variety of groups, many of which included one of these three original quartet members. At the same time, Coleman began to associate with “Third Stream” composers like Gunther Schuller, John Lewis, and fellow-Texan Jimmy Giuffre, all who blended “jazz” and “classical” music. Coleman did a bit ofjazz-classical crossover himself in 1965, when he arrived unannounced in London and proposed a concert at Fairfield Hall. He was enthusiastically received by the local modern jazz community, but because of a quota system, before he could perform he would have to be classified as a “concert artist.” With two weeks notice, Ornette composed Forms and Sounds for woodwind quintet. He then sent for his bassist, David Izenson, and his drummer, Charles Moffett, to join him for the concert. Litweiler notes that “It was the first time an African-American musician, playing his own music, received the ‘concert artist’ classification, and Omette financed the concert himself’ \(as he has often done throughIn 1968, after Coleman had earned two Guggenheim fellowships for composition, written music for films and had his Inventions of Symphonic Poems performed at UCLA the same British musicians union and the Labour Ministry that had frustrated and inspired him three years earlier declared Coleman’s achievement irrelevant and he had to compose Emotion Modulation to again qualify as a “concert artist.” Coleman’s second London concert has been described by Barry McRae, author of Ornette Coleman, published in 1988 by Apollo Press: “In order to get a work permit, he had spent many hours convincing the authorities that he was not a jazz musician. In the Albert Hall, he spent little more than two proving that he was one of the greatest.” At times during his long and fertile career, Louis Armstrong was criticized for avoiding political and racial issues. Reportedly Satcluno once responded by asking what good he would be to his people if, as a trumpet player, he got his teeth knocked out in a civil rights march. Though much of Coleman’s most important music was created during the 1960s, when “Black Power” groups were active in the major cities where he performed, he maintained that music was his medium and avoided political activism. In 1960 Coleman was in Chicago while the Black Muslims were holding their annual convention and he commented that “I could hardly play for all the hate around me.” Despite the jealousy and even hatred his music sometimes aroused, Coleman remained throughout that violent period a gentle man of Peace, which is exemplified by his tune of that title from The Shape of Jazz to Come. Coleinan’s music can also be witty and humorous, as can be seen in “Congeniality” from the same album, but more often it is characterized by a “rich blues cry,” “a frenzy of terror with lashing trills and insane double-time phrases,” and a loneliness typified by his classic “Lonely Woman.” Some prominent jazz musicians at first declared Coleman was playing out of tune and did not know the chord changes, and Ornette seemed to respond indirectly when he said, “I have never in my life seen anyone explain how and what I’m doing in music. But everybody knows that it’s something that hasn’t happened before. …” Bobby Bradford, a Texas trumpeter who played on Ornette’s 1971 Science Fiction album, once said “I think you’ll find an urgency and dead seriousness in Ornette’s music that said things weren’t going to be about Jim Crow or a resigned black man or West Coast cool any longer.” Jamaaladeen Tacuma, the electric bassist in Coleman’s Prime Time band, offers a brief definition that explains something of the Coleman approach: “Basically what we do is compositional improvising in which each person acts like a soloist. We work from a melody in a tonal point, and anything that you play has to be equal to the melody or better.” As for harmolodics, Litweiler suggests that Coleman may have come up with the term that combines harmony and melody as early as the 1950s when he formed his first groups, basing this view on Omette’s own statement that he always called what he was doing by this name, but I never started using [harmolodics ] as much as I did say in the last five years . .. probably because I was always interested in trying to get to the place where I could be secure and successful in what I was doing, and I didn’t want to appear as i f I was trying to be an intellect or something, just to have a chance to play music. By the mid 1960s, it was evident that Coleman had reached his goal. By then Litweiler writes, “Omette’s inspiration was international” and by the 1970s “the main lines of jazz development … continued to descend from Ornette’s innovations of the late 1950s,” with his music attracting “players from all nationalities.” To its credit, Fort Worth proclaimed September 29, 1983, Omette Coleman Day and the mayor presented the native son with the key to the city. The occasion was the opening of the Caravan of Dreams, which premiered Ornette’s Prime Design, dedicated to Buckminster Fuller, the creator of the geodosic dome, one of which sits atop the Caravan. Meanwhile, many of the ex-members of Coleman’s groups had gone on to establish themselves as graduates of Omette’s Free Jazz school. Litweiler even sees this revolutionary figure as a “benign parent” who today “can survey a large, active jazz scene that he fathered through his persistence and dedication.” Whether what Coleman has produced is “Texas jazz” or not, it does in the case of his “Ramblinm evoke for some listeners “like T.E. Martin” the western emptiness across ture of bravado and loneliness. . . . The prairie sound is kept well to the fore and given psychological complexity, hence its life, by the use of short stabbing phrases that fall into a compulsive swing. The whole is straightforward, though individual, and one can see little difficulty in sensing the man’s enviable understanding.” On a more visceral level, as John Tynan of Down Beat wrote on first hearing Ornette Coleman’s 1958 debut recording Something Else!, the music “raises goose bumps.” That’s a response Ornette Coleman still evokes 35 years later. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21