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TitleFour Jazz Lives
File Size11.2 MB
Total Pages274
Table of Contents
Introduction to the New Edition
Introduction to the Original Edition
I. Cecil Taylor
II. Ornette Coleman
III. Herbie Nichols
IV. Jackie McLean
Selected Bibliographies and Discographies
Document Text Contents
Page 1



Page 137

[ 112 ] Four Jazz Lives

emerged to join the Ray Charles orchestra), and Bradford
soon followed him.

George Newman and Don Cherry were their replace-
ments in the woodshed. Clay and Cherry had been working
together around Los Angeles in a group called the Jazz
Messiahs, and it was Clay who first took Cherry and New-
man to Ornette's for rehearsal.

Cherry says that Ornette's main concern at the time
was developing a distinctive sound. "As I remember, it was
by his sound that I first recognized Ornette. I had known his
wife, and she had been telling me about him, about how he
sounded, but I had never heard or met him." Their first en-
counter took place in a Los Angeles record shop which spe-
cialized in stocking a selection of the best jazz releases. It
was operated by a former jazz musician-a reed man-who
also carried such jazz accessories as drumsticks, brushes,
scores, and reeds. Ornette happened to be in the store try-
ing out a thick number four and one-half reed as Cherry and
Newman approached. They heard a sound with a brilliance
they had never heard emanating from an alto saxophone be-
fore, and concluded that it must be Ornette Coleman. It was.
Later on, in practice, Newman tried Ornette's hom and
couldn't get a sound out of it. The reed was too thick and the
mouthpiece too open, requiring an unusual amount of air.
This itself is an example of the kind of discipline that Ornette
had acquired during those months of not working in jazz.
Because he had developed special muscles to control the
wind, his neck swells outside the collar when he plays as it
does with few reed men.

Cherry describes those sessions in George Newman's
garage as purely cooperative efforts. There was a consistent
exchange of ideas, and even of instruments. Cherry was only
nineteen when he first started rehearsing with Ornette, and

Page 138

Ornette Coleman [ 113 ]

it was during those years that his ideas on music were shaped.
He says: "I never had too much comment on music at that
time since I was too young to have critical opinions. I thought
that Ornette's music was a language that I didn't quite un-
derstand, but I think I could see the purity of it. Ornette and
Blackwell got a short job at a beer tavern in midtown and I
went there to hear them, and I was startled at the kind of
unity that they could achieve. It had the jazz sounds and the
jazz quality, but in terms of the kind of love and communica-
tion that they could achieve it had the quality of some Afri-
can rhythms I've heard in which the communication is more
important than the music, if you could separate the two.
They had obviously developed the music together.»

It is ironic that the only effect all this hard work had
on Ornette's fellow musicians was to convince them that he
didn't know his instrument, for his sound was different
every time they heard it.

Cherry had come to Ornette with the long, convoluted
arpeggios of Clifford Brown and the soft muted tones of
Miles Davis. Unlike Ornette, at nineteen Don Cherry already
had been popular with such Los Angeles musicians as Dexter
Gordon and saxophonist Wardell Grey. He had been playing
trumpet "almost from birth," and his zest for jazz had gotten
him in trouble: "In Los Angeles there was a school that had
a very good swing band. And there was a very good Negro
teacher there named Daniel Brown. His band played things
that Dizzy Gillespie played. He played piano. The school
was Jefferson High School, and it was out of my district. I
had heard the band playing some Stan Kenton things, some
arrangements students had made, and some Dizzy Gillespie
things, and I wanted to go to this school. Since I couldn't, I
would ditch my sixth-period class and go to their rehearsals. I
told Mr. Brown that I was in Jefferson High School. He kept

Page 273

[ 248 ]

Moore, Freddy, 161
Morse, George H., 171
Morton, Jelly Roll, 5,98
Mosley, Snub, 163
Mulligan, Gerry, 128
Murray, Sonny, 7, 12, 13, 14,


N.A.A.C.P., 159
Neidlinger, Buell, 7, 8, 10, 11,

12, 20, 32, 33, 34, 36, 45,

New England Conservatory, 33,

Newman, George, 108, 112,

Newport Jazz Festival, 70, 71,

Nicholas, Big Nick, 167
Nichols, Alvin, 167
Nichols, Herbie, 152-77, 181,

Norris, Walter, 115, 116

Oliver, King, 161
Open Door, The, 223, 224
Orr, John, 64, 65
Ostroff, Herb, 54

Page, Hotlips, 222
Parker, Charlie, 56, 57, 79,

80, 81, 86, 88, 91, 9z, 160,
17z, 173, 175, 18z, 185,
186, 187, 188, 189, 192,
193, 197, z04, z06, 21g--

Parker, George, 157
Parker, Leo, 161, z03
Parrish, Avery, 167
Patterson and Jackson, z03
Payne, Don, 115, 116, 117
Peterson, Oscar, 6z
Pettiford, Oscar, Z10


Phillips, Flip, 161, 184
Phillips, Jeanne, 3-6, 14, 15
Phipps, Arthur, 192, 193
Pierce, Nat, 57
Pomeroy, Herb, 59
Potter, Tommy, z09
Powell, Bud, 56, 65, 91, 92,

167, 170, 175, 186, 188,
189, 190, 191, zoo, z03,

Powell, Richie, 53, 189, 190
Puente, Tito, 164

Rainey, Gertrude, "Ma," 98
Redd, Freddie, ZZI
Reisner, Bob, zzo, Z24
Richmond, Danny, 170
Rivers, Sam, 60
Roach, Max, 110, 168, 16g,

170 ,Z18
Rockefeller Report on the Per-

forming Arts, 46
Rodney, Red, 57
Rodriguez, Tito, 164
Rollins, Sonny, 87, 125, lz6,

182, 187, 188, 19z, 207,

Royal Baron Orchestra, 157,

Sampson, Edgar, 164, 165
Samuels, Esmonds, 166
Schuller, Gunther,s, Z9, 81
Shearing, George, 91, 191
Shepp, Archie, 7, 14, 17, 27,

43, 171
Shihab, Sahib, 160
Silas Green From New Orleans,

Silver, Horace, 42,62,63
Simmons, Sonny, 86
Singer, Hal, 156, 161

Page 274


Singleton, Charles, 163, 192
Smith, Tab, 185
Smith, Willie "The Lion," 5, 185
Stevenson, George, 166
Stewart, Rex, 166
Stitt, Sonny, 166, 192, 201, 203
Stockhausen, Karlheinz, 34, 35,

Stravinsky, Igor, 61, 168
Sulieman, ldres, 58
Sun Ra, 27

Tatun!, Art, 62
Taylor, Arthur, 192, 193, 218
Taylor, Billy, 173
Taylor, Cecil, 3-76, 80, 118,

Tchichai, John, 127
Termini, Joe, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,

Thomas, Foots, 64
Thompson, Bob, 200, 227
Thompson, Lucky, 227
Tristano, Lennie, 62, 64
Twardzik, Dick, 59

Vaughn, Sarah, 14,56
Ventura, Charlie, 184

[ 249 ]

Walker, AI, 197
Waller, Fats, 161, 162
Wallington, George, 212
Waters, Muddy, 4
Watkins, Doug, 218
Webb, Chick, 51, 164
Webster, Ben, 184,203
Whitmore, Dick, 67
Williams, Cootie, 233
Williams, Floyd "HorsecoIlar,"

157, 167
Williams, Freddy, 159
Williams, Martin, 81, 83, 168
Williams, Mary Lou, 56, 165,

Williams, Nelson, 159, 163
Williams, Rudy, 197
Williams, Skippy, 202
Williams, Tony, 15, 19, 230
Williams, Valdo, 68
Wills, Dave, 67
Wilson, Shadow, 161, 165
Wilson, Teddy, 169
Wilson, Tom, 67, 68
Winding, Kai, 215

Young, Lester, 91,92, 157, 184,
185, 186, 187

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