Ornette Coleman

Coleman Classics, Vol. 1

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These fascinating live performances from the Hillcrest Club in Los Angeles feature the original Ornette Coleman Quartet (with Coleman on alto, trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins) all as sidemen with pianist Paul Bley's Quintet. Recorded between Coleman's first and second Contemporary albums, these numbers (extended versions of "When Will the Blues Leave" and "Ramblin" along with briefer renditions of "Crossroads" and "How Deep Is the Ocean") show that Coleman already had his very original style pretty much together at this early stage. Paul Bley was wise enough to mostly stay out of the way and he clearly benefited from this encounter with some of the pioneers of free jazz.