An Endless Quest for Questions

why ornette coleman matters.

Ornette’s idea of freedom has social implications for a society and a citizenry less and less inclined or able to hear their own muse, sing their own song, and collaborate with neighbors dying to do the same. …

Coleman’s music is different because his answers always sound like questions too, like an endless quest for questions fed by an unabated curiosity about human existence and the human capacity to feel, and yes, to suffer too.

…Ornette’s horn sublimates angst, anger, and hurt aplenty but it also offers us a million possible escape routes from the blues too, often, as with our most dynamic blues singers, by deploying the most simple, evocative, strange, and ironic turns of phrase. Ornette believes that the most sacred thing in the world is human feeling and that a sense of unity can be made of anything if the communication of that feeling, of love really, is your ultimate goal and true intention.

— Greg Tate, “Why the Hell Ornette Went All Up In Eden”

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