Ornette Coleman — his concert tonight alongside four other virtuosos on the drums (his son), two basses (one big, one electric) and guitar (electric, baby) was cooler than I could have possibly imagined (he played the saxaphone, trumpet and violin). It blew my mind!
How did chaos come to sound so right? How did the sounds of the city and the hearts of its inhabitants come together, twirling round one another like a crazy aural DNA spiral, then cohere into a jumble of truth and tension? How did the past, present and future come together in those multi-layered crazy chords? How did Coleman and his band make music magic? Deciphered in the soul before the mind could have it articulated!
I would never have had the patience to realise how boring he’s made traditional, straight-up jazz sound, if not for tonight — the expected chord progressions are no more; lifting melodies were denied, then surpassed by the most unexpected combinations and thrusts! It would all have been twiddly-bop jazz to me if not for tonight.
But then if I hadn’t been so intoxicated by what came before his music, maybe tonight wouldn’t have made that much sense … no, actually, it would still have been glorious, it would still have been transcendental in shifts and turns, and I would still have given my standing ovation.
Now that my mind’s been blown wide open — how am I going to descend back to mundanity again? I don’t know if one of his albums can give the same impact as a performance by him and his band — but I guess the real point is to let this experience act upon the consciousness, rather than seek self-gratification for no real gain.
Caught a glimpse of Coleman in his navy and silver suit at the back of the HK Cultural Centre Concert Hall, but was too bashful to hang around with his fans — I’d only just discovered him for myself tonight, after all. Anyway, shyness is boring, I know, I’ll try to grow out of it faster.