Boogie Shoes

Not Prime Time...


Ornette Coleman and Prime Time
Of Human Feelings
Antilles : 1982

OC, alto sax; Bern Nix and Charles Ellerbee, guitar; Jamaaladeen Tacuma, bass; Calvin Weston and Denardo Coleman, drums.

New York City, 1979: Sid’s dead, graffiti everywhere, The Warriors opens in movie theatres to sporadic violence. And Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time hits a U.S. studio for the first time. “Sleep Talk” is one of the great Ornette themes, his alto arcing over the burbling double funk. Most recently recast as “Sleep Talking” on Sound Grammar, “Sleep Talk” retains a freshness that’s impervious to age. Doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, either. “Love Words” is the “ballad” of this date. You can hear the double quartet murmur sweet nothings across the divide, bridged again by Ornette.

The slick production threw off any number of jazz reviewers at the time, so leave it to a rock dean to nail this one: “A breakthrough if not a miracle: warm, listenable harmolodic funk. Most great lyric artists shore up their effusions with irony, but the way this music confounds mind-body dualism should provide all the release from tension anyone needs. The teeming intellectual interplay of the rhythms is no less humane than the childlike bits of melody. And the way the players break into ripples of song only to ebb back into the tideway is participatory democracy at its most practical and utopian.” Prime Time! Come out to play-i-ay!

Discussion4 Comments Category Ornette Coleman Tags , , , , ,

4 Responses to Boogie Shoes

  1. According to Litweiler’s bio, this was the first digital recording made in New York (not sure exactly what he means by that — perhaps the first multi-track digital recording; pretty sure that there had been 2-track digital recordings made in MNT by that point). Litweiler was also down on OHF, which I don’t get.

    Sadly, YouTube has taken down the SNL performance of this band, hosted by Milton Berle — I’ve always liked imagining Ornette explaining harmolodics to Uncle Milty in the green room…

  2. thanks for posting some music from this classic Ornette record. one of my all time favorite joints. in his unique way, Ornette really captured the energy and spirit of the early 80’s and put it in a bottle. i had this on cassette tape way back when and used to love listening to “Job Mob”. has this been reissued? if not, it most definitely should be… great site, keep it coming….

  3. Bean was my anti-spam word. Would it have let me post if I entered Coleman Hawkins into the box?
    Anyway, love Of Human Feelings. Couldn’t have made through my early 20s without it.
    Not all jazz critics hated on it. I gave it some props.


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