JAZZHOPE REVIEW ARCHIVES - Some chi-improv messages/reviews

for Ornette Coleman and Kahil El’Zabar’s Experimental Band Friday September 26, 2003

# 1 From bluesjazz@delmark.com

 Friday, September 19, 2003 11:52 AM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: bluesjazz@delmark.com

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 11:52 AM

Subject: [chi-improv] After Hours Set with Ornette Coleman

 

Please join us for a very special event:

The Return of The Ascension Loft Series with an After Hours Set with
Ornette Coleman.

An intimate gathering with the legendary Ornette Coleman with performances
by Chicago's finest jazz musicians including members of The Experimental
Band.

Friday, September 26th  from 10:30 PM until ???
200 West Superior (Superior and Wells)
Third Floor, Suite 310
Please RSVP at (312) 850-4906
Donations will be accepted

Feel free to pass this on to an interested listener.

 

# 2 From John Chacona writer/producer jchacona@reporters.net Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:13 AM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: John Chacona

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:13 AM

Subject: [chi-improv] Ornette

 

Brethren --
Well?  Anybody have anything to report?  I'm especially
interested in hearing about Kahil's since I thought for
a moment of trying to drive the 8 hrs. to make that gig.
jc (in Erie, PA)
--
John Chacona
writer/producer
jchacona@reporters.net
814.882.9464 (v)
509.463.0178 (f)
www.johnchacona.com (now up with old content)

 

# 3 From Jo Ann jas1882@aol.com Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:22 AM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: jas1882@aol.com

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 11:22 AM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette

In a message dated 9/27/03 11:17:51 AM, jchacona@reporters.net writes:

Haven't seen any reviews yet.  Howard Reich had this piece in the
Trib. last week. He (Howard) has come a long way.  Jo Ann


Ornette Coleman still blazing a musical trail
Critics praise or skewer his musical theories

By Howard Reich
Tribune arts critic
September 21 2003

 

Reference ŕ  http://www.jazzhope.com/review_CT_2003_09_21_OrnetteColeman.htm

# 4 From ~ M  live@savagesound.com Saturday, September 27, 2003 4:23 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: Live!

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 4:23 PM

Subject: [chi-improv] ornette loft party


Many of you are probably dying to find out what went down last night - as I
was -

Altho I was at the Empty Bottle/Wire show myself, I'll pass along what I
heard -

I heard the Symphony Center show was great -

I heard that the afterhours set at Kahil El'Zabar's space featured Ornette
as the quest of honor, who was presented with an award, however he did not
play. A $20 donation was requested. I heard the music was good, with Kahil
conducting; which would be convenient if you're a control freak and it
happens to be your space.


all bst ~ m

# 5 From Jo Anne damagecontrol@steaky.org

Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:26 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: damagecontrol@steaky.org

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:26 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette

 

I guess I'll report a bit...

First, Ornette at the Symphony Center -

It's a little difficult to guage this performance because the sound at the Symphony Center left a lot to be desired, especially for the rhythm section.  The bassists, as they so often do, got lost fairly frequently, especially when playing arco.  Their playing was good, though I wished for more variation.  As for Denardo, as far as I could tell he definitely had the chops, but I wish his playing were a little more varied in terms of dynamics and whatknot.  It may well have been Ornette's desire to have the rhythm section play a relatively constant racket while he soloed over it, though....

As for Ornette himself, after taking a couple of tunes to hit his stride he played excellently...in fact, he sounded exactly like he did in all those 1960 and 1961 Atlantic recordings.  He mostly stuck to his white plastic Alto (though he played the metal one on the first tune).  He did one violin solo (which was excellent), and used his trumpet a number of times.  I would have liked to see him do longer trumpet solos, as each was extremely short.  His tone on the trumpet has much improved since, say, "Live at the Golden Circle", but unfortunately he would play it for maybe thirty seconds each time and then move back to the alto.  He had his rhythm section very well trained, as well, and they did a great job of stopping on a dime at the conclusion of his tunes.  Overall it was a fine performance, but the sound quality of the hall marred it a bit.


The "After Hours" loft session:

I had two minor complaints about this session, and a lot of praises.  First of all, Ornette did not take part in this session, even though all the early information about it implied that he would.  He stopped in at one point long enough to receive some sort of commendation from the Illinois government, but that was all of his participation.  The other somewhat misleading part of the set was the "suggested donation" for the "Loft session with Ornette Coleman" turned out to be a more-than-just-suggested twenty-dollars at the door. 

That being said, I think the concert I saw was an excellent way to spend twenty dollars.  The lineup that performed at the concert was:

Kahil El'Zabar - Vocals and direction
Ernest Khabeer Dawkins - Alto Saxophone
Ari Brown - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Piano
Duke Payne - Tenor Saxophone and Bagpipe
(Hamiett) Bluiett - Baritone Saxophone
Malachi Thompson - Trumpet
Isiah (Ike) Jackson - Trombone
Robert Irving ?? - Piano
Malachi Favors Maghostut - Bass
Dushan Mosley - Drums
Avreeayl Ra - Drums

They did a number of pieces over two sets, directed by a very energetic Kahil, who danced and gestured and seemed to be having a wonderful time.  This was an amazing collection of talent from the Chicago area (and Bluiett, shipped in from St. Louis, I guess).  The absolute highlight of the show for me was Ari Brown's spectacular Tenor soloing.  Of course both Malachi's put in astounding performances and Dawkins also did breathtaking alto soloing...and for my personal taste Avreeayl Ra can almost do no wrong.  Of course, the other performers were also excellent, and Kahil's direction held it all together.  Simply put, it was an excellent way to finish the evening.  In addition to the music there was wine and food and lots of friendly people who enjoyed the music.  The whole thing finished sometime after two-thirty, and, dare I say it, while I enjoyed the Ornette concert, I think the after-hours loft-session gave me more bang for my buck, so to speak.

Then we drove something like 150 miles home.

-- JoAnne


# 6 From saltherring@gmx.net Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:37 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: saltherring@gmx.net

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:37 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette

 

The music at Kahil's last night was great, however, as Malachi pointed out,
Ornette didn't play.  The lineup was Ari Brown, Ernest Dawkins, Duke Payne,
Ike Jackson, Hamiett Bluiett, Avreeayl Ra, Dushaun Mosely and Malachi
Favors.

After a brief opening number, the band paused and a local politician read
and presented a proclamation to Ornette.  It was truly bizarre and something
about it felt very unnatural.  Perhaps forced would be another way to
describe it. I'm not saying that Ornette doesn't deserve awards and
recognition, but reading some stiff, legal jargon hardly seems fitting. 
Anyway, the band picked back up and finished their first set.  

The second set featured Duke Payne on the bagpipes and
it sounded amazing.

I have to say that I feel a bit duped because the emails that went around
from the folks at Delmark made it sound as if Ornette would be playing. 
Also, the email stated that "donations would be accepted".  However,
the ladies at the top of the stairs last night were demanding $20,
not even knowing that what they were doing was illegal.

I just hope the musicians got paid well.

# 7 From Ed bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu

Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:45 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 6:45 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance

 

Agreed.  While I understand Ornette may have been quite tired from his
earlier show I would say it was in quite bad form for one of the
organizers not to have said something to the effect that Ornette wouldn't
be picking performing at some point in the evening, if not at the door. 
I should think basic respect for the audience would be something on the
minds of the organizers.  Many of us sat around expecting one thing and
got something quite different.  I have no problem in supporting local
music where I live and have done so over the years. 

I'm in question about any further Ascension Loft performances considering
what transpired last night. 

It was great to hear Bluitt in concert after having not caught a
performance of his since my days in NYC. 

Ed 

# 8 From Rick Lopez bb10k@velocity.net

Saturday, September 27, 2003 8:27 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: Rick Lopez

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 8:27 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance

 

on 2003.09.27 7:45 PM, bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu at
bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu wrote:

> Many of us sat around expecting one thing and
> got something quite different.

And many of us (I'm also, like Chacona, in Erie PA) almost risked driving
several hundred miles to see Ornette PLAY, as was clearly implied in the
postings. Someone could have been badly beaten for such careless doling of
such blatant misinformation.

Sonsabitches,
RL


# 9 From Damon Smith damon@balancepointacoustics.com Saturday, September 27, 2003 8:54 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: Damon Smith

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 8:54 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance


On Saturday, September 27, 2003, at 06:27 PM, Rick Lopez wrote:

> on 2003.09.27 7:45 PM, bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu at
> bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu wrote:
>
>> Many of us sat around expecting one thing and
>> got something quite different.
>
> And many of us (I'm also, like Chacona, in Erie PA) almost risked
> driving
> several hundred miles to see Ornette PLAY, as was clearly implied in
> the
> postings. Someone could have been badly beaten for such careless
> doling of
> such blatant misinformation.
>
--i cant see how anyone left without their $20.

On Saturday, September 27, 2003, at 04:26 PM, damagecontrol@steaky.org
wrote:

> As for Ornette himself, after taking a couple of tunes to hit his
> stride he played excellently...in fact, he sounded exactly like he did
> in all those 1960 and 1961 Atlantic recordings.

---plenty of alto players sound like he did in 1960 or 61, that is what
you consider "excellent"?  when you go see cecil taylor, wadada leo
smith or even brötzmann, you get something more than an old lp. did he
have ay new takes on his ideas?
i always felt don cherry's "where's brooklyn" and "complete communion"
were the best "ornette" lps...
the "who's crazy soundtrack" lps with izenzon and moffet are pretty
incredible though, along with everything else that trio did.

damon smith

http://www.balancepointacoustics.com

"i feel we shouldn't speak, we should just play music, because the
minute we open our mouths we tell lies" - johnny mbizo Dyani

 

# 10 From Ed bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu

Saturday, September 27, 2003 9:35 PM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2003 9:35 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night's Ascension Loft performance

 

 On Sat, 27 Sep 2003, Damon Smith wrote:

> Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2003 18:54:48 -0700
> From: Damon Smith <damon@balancepointacoustics.com>
> Reply-To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com
> To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance
>
>
> On Saturday, September 27, 2003, at 06:27 PM, Rick Lopez wrote:
>
> > on 2003.09.27 7:45 PM, bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu at
> > bookshlf@tonic.astro.nwu.edu wrote:
> >
> >> Many of us sat around expecting one thing and
> >> got something quite different.
> >
> > And many of us (I'm also, like Chacona, in Erie PA) almost risked
> > driving
> > several hundred miles to see Ornette PLAY, as was clearly implied in
> > the
> > postings. Someone could have been badly beaten for such careless
> > doling of
> > such blatant misinformation.
> >
> --i cant see how anyone left without their $20.


It's not the $20 at issue but how the situation was handled by the people
organizing (including you?)  If you can't respect the value of other
people's time then that's unfortunate, and especially unfortunate for the
players involved and the organizers because it shows them in an
unfavourable light. 

I have no problem with a player in his 70s not being able to play an
addition gig already having played a full concert earlier in the evening. 
I have a problem with the organizers, which I assume involves some of the
players on stage, for not announcing this >immediately< when it was known
Ornette would not take the stage to perform with the players in
attendance.  It is quite possible that this was known soon after the
Symphony Space concert ended but I doubt any of the people organizing
would be respectful enough to be honest about this subject. 

It may sound utterly silly to some but a few of us actaully wanted to hear
Ornette perform and possibly he was the main reason some of us came out
last night.  I would gather this is a cautionary tale for those who live
outside of Chicago about possibly coming to attend futures gigs,
especially those posted as part of the Ascension Loft Series. 

Again, it was very good to hear Bluiett for the first time in a few years. 

Ed 


# 11 From Lauren Deutsch laurend@flash.net Sunday, September 28, 2003 9:01 AM

----- Original Message -----

 

From: Lauren Deutsch

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 9:01 AM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance

I loved the symphony center Ornette concert.  I left my expectations at home,
out of respect for a master artist who has brought different offerings each
of the three times I've had the opportunity to see him perform live.  While
the concert brought to mind some of his incredibly beautiful recordings of
the 60s, if you listened closely you could hear how now the ideas and sounds
were more burnished, pared down to reveal an essence so elegant that they are
indeed timeless.

I am not one to second guess whether or not something other that what an
artist has chosen to bring to the audience might have been "better" for one
reason or another.  Ornette has maintained an exceptional integrity in his
person and music from the beginning by refusing to let other people's
judgements influence his art making.

Lauren Deutsch



# 12  From Seth Tisue seth@tisue.net Sunday, September 28, 2003 12:39 PM

----- Original Message -----

From: Seth Tisue

To: chi-improv@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 12:39 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette

>>>>> "saltherring" == saltherring  <saltherring@gmx.net> writes:

saltherring> After a brief opening number, the band paused and
saltherring> a local politician read and presented a proclamation to
saltherring> Ornette.

Ornette also made a very brief statement, which I'll try and reproduce
from memory as well as I can: "Everyone in this room, in this building,
has an idea.  I want to see that idea become creativity, so we can find
out what sound is."

==
Seth Tisue - seth@tisue.net - http://tisue.net


# 13  From Rebecca Hope jazzhope@comcast.net Sunday, September 28, 2003

----- Original Message -----

From: "Rebecca Hope" <jazzhope@comcast.net>

To: <chi-improv@yahoogroups.com>

Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 1:32 PM

Subject: Re: [chi-improv] Ornette & last night Ascension Loft performance


I have written a review on the Experimental Band
http://www.jazzhope.com/review_2003_09_26_ExperimentalBand.htm

I have also consolidated the related chi-improv reviews
http://www.jazzhope.com/review_2003_09_26_Misc_chi-improv.htm
(I will keep adding anymore that arrive)

If you wish to have the web reviews sent to you in email
please send a new email DIRECTLY to jazzhope@comcast.net
(replying to this email will go to chi-improv yahoo groups)

Rebecca Hope
http://www.jazzhope.com
for help in navigating through the site
email  jazzhope@comcast.net
My updated jazz schedule link:
http://www.jazzhope.com/ToDoAsOfYYYY_MM_DD.htm


My comments on the chi-improv mail:

--Lauren Deutsch wrote Ornette's performance up superbly.
--Specific Kudos to Lauren and her contributions to society!


--Bluiett is a wonderful musician, as well as the
--rest of the Experimental Band members.
--More focus on the Experimental Band may be enlightening.


----Regarding the Return to the Loft experience,
--It was an intimate gathering and the legendary
--Ornette Coleman was there.
--He did not play, but his words, nevertheless, were of
--deep magnitude : 
----"I would like to say that everyone in this building
----and everyone that is here sitting down--
----has an idea. 
----And I would like to see those ideas--
----become creativity--
----that is expressed as sound here. 
----Thank you."


----Loft History
--Kahil told the story "for those that don't know it. 
--One of the things that happened when Ornette first got
--to New York and he played at some place was,
--he was accosted by some other musicians because
--they didn't understand the new word or the unique
--approach to life." He continued the story of evolution;
--Ornette Coleman was one of the first people to develop
--a loft in the lower east side of New York.  When you
--think of Living Colour, of Vernon Reid and that whole
--"rock thing"-Vernon Reid came from Ronald Shannon
--Jackson, and Ronald Shannon Jackson came through
--Ornette-"
--"On all kinds of levels, there's artists in all walks of life--
--how he uses space, sound and color and unique ideas."
 

----The actual advertisement read, 
----"An intimate gathering with the legendary Ornette Coleman
---- with performances by Chicago's finest jazz musicians
---- including members of The Experimental Band."
--The advertisement did not state Ornette would play! 
--I believe he would have if he thought it was necessary.


----"Please RSVP at (312) 850-4906 "
--Anyone concerned with driving 8 hours and having any risks
--would do themselves a favor to RSVP and ask any questions
--at the time.  If anyone did this and was misinformed,
--PLEASE RESPOND!


----"Donations will be accepted"
--(you could have refused and left or RSVP'd)
--Anyone complaining about the $20 collected at the door
--may not know what it takes to present such an event. 
--I won't get into the details of the lack of funding of the arts and
--the general repression going on in the city and the universe. 
--There were some snacks and beverages being served. 
--How many times have you paid cover and still paid for drinks? 
--I just am glad for the opportunity to experience the creativity.
--(Have you czeched out the price of going to a movie, or other
--forms of "common" entertainment, recently?
--Generally without as much pleasure afforded and
--generally the same old idea without any innovation)


--Reading other reviews of the Return to the Loft experience,
--I found one to be most balanced, 
----"I had two minor complaints about this session,
----and a lot of praises. 
----First of all, Ornette did not take part in this session, even
----though all the early information about it implied that he would. 
----He stopped in at one point long enough to receive some sort of
----commendation  from the Illinois government, but that was all
----of his participation.  The other somewhat misleading part of the
----set was the "suggested donation" for the "Loft session with
----Ornette Coleman" turned out to be a more-than-just-suggested
----twenty-dollars at the door. That being said, I think the concert
----I saw was an excellent way to spend twenty dollars."

Check out the rest of the reviews at the link
http://www.jazzhope.com/review_2003_09_26_Misc_chi-improv.htm


And don't forget to check out the Experimental band
http://www.jazzhope.com/review_2003_09_26_ExperimentalBand.htm