Monday, June 1, 2009

ornette coleman - the great london concert

Ornette Coleman arrived in London in August 1965 as a tourist, for he was far too dubious a commercial proposition for any British promoter to risk engaging his trio. However Coleman did want to appear in public, so he simply became his own promoter; he persuaded me to organize a concert for him, and financed the whole operation himself. Within three weeks of his arrival, his European premiere had given him his first taste of unqualified acclaim from listeners and reviewers; the impact was so profound that Coleman was elected "Musician of the Year" and Izenzon "New Star of the Year" in the 1965 Melody Maker Critics' Poll (their first-ever poll victory) on the strength of just the one solitary performance, and later the Melody Maker remarked that, "The concert has already assumed almost legendary status".
- Alan Bates liner note

Scheduled for US release on the short-lived Arista/Freedom imprint in 1975, legal threats resulted in its cancellation after promotional copies had been sent out, banishing this historic document to obscurity in Coleman's homeland. Released on International Polydor as An Evening With Ornette Coleman and on Freedom and Black Lion as Ornette Coleman In Europe Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, it seems to have successfully eluded many fans there as well.

ornette coleman
the great london concert
arista/freedom al 1900 (1975)

01 Forms And Sounds For Wind Quintet 24.55
02 Sadness 3.05
03 Clergyman's Dream 11.58
04 Falling Stars 7.37
05 Silence 9.00
06 Happy Fool 6.50
07 Ballad 5.00
08 Dough Nuts 5.53

Ornette Coleman / David Izenzon / Charles Moffett
live at Fairfield Hall, Croyden UK August 29, 1965
w/ the Virtuoso Ensemble

vinyl @320


kike hurtado said...

Dear Lucky

thank you for sharing this hard to find lp on Ornette.

best regards, Kike.

Anonymous said...

kike - i'm also glad reservatory shared this thing with us! i love the 2 stocholm records with this trio, one of the musically finest ornette ever had, in my opinion.

reservatory contributes to this blog some time ago - you can see who posted what at the link next to comment one. ;)


1009 said...

Never heard of this one -- thanks!

kike hurtado said...


you're right, all the best to reservatory, who shares this fantastic recording on Ornette.

i hope to make right with the guy who made this possible.

best, Kike :)

kingpossum said...

Lucky and reservatory--bless you! I don't know Mr. Coleman's entire output by any stretch, but I was not aware of this one. Thank you.

Nicely timed to coincide with the cover story on Ornette in this month's WIRE magazine, too.

Well done!

Festoonic said...

Ornette's strangest and most magical band, IMHO, almost completely unmoored from anything that came before. Or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Thanks!

charlie said...

Reissued last year on FreeFactory. An 'official' release? Who knows?

maready said...

I'd never seen or heard this one either, although there was a release (or a different performance) of the "Sound and forms" wind piece (without the trio stuff) at some point in time.

Merci, merci

Stylophone 350s said...

Hey Lucky, thanks very much for this.