Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 6/26 & Tues 6/30

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Yes I’m still listening to Ornette Coleman. Been doin’ it nigh on fifty years and more, kids, and don’t expect to stop anytime soon. Join me for two hours this week with intermissions for Gunther Schuller and Charles Mingus—Gunther Schuller had to die too?—on Updoc, Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, NY Uptown-Downtown time. For Ornette, a diffeent slant from last week: some greatest hits from the epoch-making album, you know its name, a concert piece from 2008 called 9/11, the cracked beauty of Ornette on trumpet with Charlie Haden on The Golden Number, and some other stuff: you probably know your way around, and how it never gets old. I like the way Ethan Iverson put it on his blog: Ornette as “a fantastic assimilator. First he remade the blues and Bird in his own image, then modernist classical music, then rock/pop with Prime Time. It all went in and came out as pure Ornette.” Plus other speculation about Ornette and Gunther Schuller I don’t have room to quote here. Look it up. The show ends with us dancing in our heads. I remember 1977, a time when Ornette was the Seldom Seen Kid, seemed to play abroad but not at home, and walking into a record shop and seeing that red shieldfaced album cover, with invertable faces, on the wall: a sudden joy, complete suffusion, with no suspicion that my life would be changed by it. I tell the tale before I spin the side, but that’s just a footnote. The music turned out to be the unsuspectable thing it was, and the joy of it hasn’t left the planet yet.

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