Ornette Coleman celebrated at Prospect Park w/ Patti Smith, Flea, Thurston Moore, Ornette himself & more (pics, setlist)
photos by Greg Cristman
Ornette Coleman / Laurie Anderson / Flea
The 2014 Celebrate Brooklyn! season continued with another free show in Prospect Park this past Thursday (6/12), a tribute to pioneering free jazz great Ornette Coleman (also part of Blue Note Jazz Fest). A large handful of musicians from many genres appeared on stage to pay tribute to Ornette, including Red Hot Chili Peppers/Atoms for Peace/Antemasque bassist Flea, joined separately by two jazz veterans Henry Threadgill and David Murray. Punk legend Patti Smith appeared with her daughter Jesse and bandmate Tony Shanahan. Laurie Anderson was joined by past collaborators/NYC avant-garde lifers Bill Laswell and John Zorn for a performance that was also partly in honor of her late husband Lou Reed. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore performed a duo set with guitar great Nels Cline (Wilco, Lee Ranaldo’s band, etc), and still so many other guests performed including Geri Allen, Joe Lovano, Savion Glover, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, James Blood and more.
Thurston Moore & Nels Cline
One very special guest of the night was Ornette Coleman himself, who wasn’t billed as a performer but but spent a good deal of the show on stage, often chiming in. The New York Times writes:
Again, Mr. Coleman played: a significant fact and an increasingly rare occasion in the last several years. This was billed as a concert for him, not by him; it was not clear whether he would play a note until showtime. But he sat in a chair onstage for most of the concert’s first half, either with an alto saxophone in his lap, or taking part as if he were playing along with nature, joining when he wanted to and how he wanted to.
The concert was organized by Mr. Coleman’s son, Denardo, who was also the bandleader, as a program of Coleman compositions, except for a couple of free improvisations. But Mr. Coleman wasn’t there to play Ornette Coleman compositions. He was just there to play, and he started from soft and lovely unaccompanied lines, like some precursor to blues language.
Pictures of the show are in this post. They continue, with the setlist a video from Patti Smith’s performance, below…
Patti Smith at Ornette Coleman Tribute
1. Blues Connotation – Flea, Henry Threadgill
2. Broadway Blues – Flea, Threadgill
3. Law Years – Flea, David Murray
4. The Sphinx – David Murray, Geri Allen, Joe Lovano
5. Sleep Talk – Geri Allen, Joe Lovano
6. Congeniality – Geri Allen, Joe Lovano,
7. Turnaround – Savion Glover
8. Patti Smith – Jesse (daughter) piano, Tony Shanahan guitar, Bass?
9. Laurie Anderson – Lou Reed Drones with Bill Laswell & John Zorn, Master Ren Tai Chi demonstration, Hal Wilner comments
10. Bruce Hornsby – Branford Marsalis – duo
11. Thurston Moore, Nels Cline – duo
12. 911 – Band, Ravi Coltrane
13. Peace – Ravi Coltrane, James Blood,
14. Ramblin’ – James Blood, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis
15. Dancing In Your Head – James Blood, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Bill Laswell
16. Song X – Laswell, Hornsby, multi horn players, Jajouka
17. Lonely Woman – Everyone