SKIES OF AMERICA
Ornette Coleman and Prime Time
Nettles : 1996 (rec. 1987)
OC, alto sax; Bern Nix, Charles Ellerbee, guitar; Al MacDowell, Chris Walker, bass; Calvin Weston, Denardo Coleman, drums; with the Orchestra Sinfonica Dell’Arena di Verona, John Giordano, conductor.
There’s been an unrelenting succession of bad news for jazz fans lately with the deaths of musical giants John Tchicai, David S. Ware, Borah Bergman, Sean Bergin, Byard Lancaster, and Ted Curson. We thought we’d take this opportunity to celebrate some good news: The re-election of U.S. President Barack Obama! In the midst of this divided and often narrow-minded nation, it’s an affirmation of the country’s diversity, progressiveness, and ability to rise to the occasion that we can peaceably elect a black president to a second term, and begin to affirm marriage rights for all citizens in at least a few states.
To mark the day, we offer this rare live version of Ornette Coleman’s “Skies of America” — featuring Prime Time and an orchestra — a harmolodic masterpiece that weaves together diverse sonic elements into something both symphonic and funky. Not unlike the USA on its better days. Play it loud.