Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ornette Coleman - Of Human Feelings (1982)

Some more Ornette and Prime Time

I first became aware of this LP after hearing John Zorn's cover of 'Job Mob' (there entitled 'Mob Job') on his truly mental Spy vs Spy LP. Check it out, kids, it's great.

Back in those pre-internet days I couldn't find a copy anywhere (even though it was only six years old at the time) and couldn't really dig up any information about it. I picked this copy up at a now-defunct record shop down in Pitt St about ten years ago. These days, of course, you can find it on the internets without looking too hard. I've seen a few copies in the second hand bins since. I gather it was released on CD in Japan at some point, but it's long out of print now and I've never seen a copy.

This is on Island's Antilles label, which seems to have been reserved for jazz and other weirdness. Recorded in 1979, but curiously not released till three years later. It was an early digital recording, done - according to the liner notes - direct to two-track (one presumes through a mixing desk) using a Sony PCM-1600, which recorded to ¾" U-Matic video tape in 16-bit resolution at a little under 44.1kHz (which - not coincidentally - soon became the standard for CD quality). So the flac rip should sound pretty much the same as the record.

Anyway, to the music. This is Ornette in funky harmolodic Prime Time mode. Featuring Ornette's son Denardo on drums, the amazing Jamaaladeen Tacuma on bass, and Bern Nix and Charlie Ellerbee on guitars. Aside from Ornette's alto, the outstanding feature of this album for me is the weaving of the guitars, panned hard right and left. I don't know which is which (if someone knows, please fill me in) but the one in the left channel is cleaner and more melodic, where the one in the right is more distorted, angular and funky. Don't laugh, but it reminds me of nothing so much as the way the guitars weave together on Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica. And do I detect a Stravinsky quote at the beginning of the first track? There's also Tacuma's terrific bass playing and Denardo's idiosyncratic drumming style. The drums sound a little tinny to me - not sure whether that's a by-product of the early digital recording or just the way he played 'em.

Recorded April 25, 1979 at Columbia Recording Studio, New York.
Produced by Ornette Coleman
Recorded by Ron Saint Germain and Harold Jarowsky
Mastered by Joe Gastwirt

A1: Sleep Talk (3:38)
A2: Jump Street (4:19)
A3: Him And Her (4:20)
A4: Air Ship (6:07)
B1: What is the Name of that Song? (4:02)
B2: Job Mob (4:55)
B3: Love Words (2:55)
B4: Times Square (6:03)

Ornette Coleman: Alto Saxophone

Prime Time Band:
Denardo Coleman: Drums
Charlie Ellerbee: Guitar
Bern Nix: Guitar
Jamaaladeen Tacuma: Bass Guitar
Calvin Weston: Drums

Antilles, UK, 1982. Cat # AN 2001

320kbps mp3
Sorry, folks. I have misplaced the lossless version of this 'un. Will re-up if I find it.