Today the music world lost one of its foremost thinkers and creative forces: Ornette Coleman – composer, performer, philosophic musician and great human being! There is no end to the list of artists in various fields he has influenced, no end to the musicians that took his message on and so moved improvised music in a new and different way.
I was lucky enough to work with Ornette for a few years when he released his Harmolodic albums via Universal France and stayed in touch with him and his son Denardo ever since. Unforgettable the moments of simple chat (even so, simple it never was when talking to Ornette – he was always challenging your perceptions, even in a little chat), his incredible storytelling and his warm personality – we exchanged some philosophical books at the time, he gave me and his label contact in France, Jean–Philippe Allard, a silk shirt each, printed with musical motifs … I was once sitting in the Harmolodic Studios a whole afternoon, just watching him rehearse the two bass players for his new band – there was so much wisdom in these teachings and talks between the three ….and when he tried to explain to me Harmolodics, the all-round philosophy of his music and life and I thought I got it, only not to understand anything half an hour later …
And then the shows with him I was lucky enough to witness over the years – from the indescribable beauty of the Umbria Jazz event called Global Expressions to the Meltdown Festival in London which he curated and performed in – including one of the most magical moments I ever experienced when listening to music: Ornette, Denardo and Charlie Haden performing a 15 minute rendition of Ornette’s most well-known composition, Lonely Women … pure jazz heaven.
He surely made the world a better place. May he Rest In Peace.