Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ornette Coleman - Chappaqua Suite

Unused soundtrack for Conrad Rooks' Chappaqua, featuring Ornette Coleman Trio w/ Izenson & Moffett along w/ Pharoah Sanders and an 11-piece orchestra, recorded in New York City 1966. Rooks went with Ravi Shankar instead.

Ornette Coleman
Chappaqua Suite

01 Part I
02 Part 2
03 Part 3
04 Part 4

cd @ 320vbr

4 comments:

Ian said...

Way underrated recorded. Why nobody ever seems to talk about this one is beyond me.

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this gem.

Jazz Lover said...

I agree with the two previous posts. It is a wonderful session; nothing less than "a [true] gem." Chappaqua Suite is the kind of session by Ornette that many people may have hoped he would record at some point. This was recorded as a soundtrack for Conrad Rooks' movie of the same name. Though accompanied by a small string section at several points, Ornette's trio, with the addition of Pharoh Sanders on tenor, plays alone for most of the four sides.
Ornette's conception, for the piece, was one long improvisation, spreading over four sides of the album. The suite ncorporated much of the compositional ideas used in the shorter pieces he had already recorded. Using no traditional melodies, he composed lengthy phrases, backed by a rhythm section, that accompanied him, functioning almost like a piano in a traditional quartet; accenting Ornette's playing, percussively adding color, while sounding like it was gently pushing his lines forward.

He explored, with great creativity, how each new phrase could be an extension of an idea that appeared in an earlier phrase, or begin a new idea that was completely different. And, he never strayed far from the blues, with an emotional, purposeful directness as evidenced by the way he articulated his ideas; phrases accented by great volume, or playing that was languid, and developed ideas slowly.

And the music stretches out in this manner, for a little over an hour; a piece whose improvisations don't end in a summing up, but keep on moving forward, with a rhythm section whose own compositional independence, fits with, and mirrors the spontaneity of Ornette's playing. I was astounded with the creativity of their performance which made me smile in satisfaction. I really love this album. To auote Anonymous once again, "a real gem."

Unknown said...

If I recall correctly, it is mostly just the trio that perform. Does Pharoah Sanders play for more than about a minute in total, ca. 11.00 on side Four?
Dr Jazzbore.