THERE IS ‘JAZZ’ AND THEN THERE IS ‘JAZZZZ’!

the shape of jazz to come

I’m in the process of rediscovering jazz. There are so many different types of jazz, it really can be a minefield to find what it is that pleases me! For example, ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’ by Ornette Coleman, recording in 1959, has been hailed as a masterwork by: ‘Rate Your Music’, ‘A-Z of Jazz Albums’, ‘All Music Review’ and ‘Best Ever Jazz Albums’. Now I don’t know what the reviewers were smoking while they listened to ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’, but I don’t want any of it! ‘Forty years ahead of its time?’ Tosh! The album is unrefined, unpolished and far too ‘free’/’improvised’ for my sophisticated taste. Free jazz that loses melody and rhythm is definitely not a pleasant experience for my lil’ old ears! The incidences of sporadic jazz and instantaneous musical detours are enough to bring on a migraine! I guess the success of ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’ must be down to savvy media marketing?  How can you possibly compare Coleman’s album to the genius of Miles Davis’s ‘Porgy & Bess’ released in the same year? Listening to jazz shouldn’t be an interesting experience, it should be a pleasurable one! It is only the emotional response elicited from a piece of music that elevates it to greatness! Another ‘over-rated’ album is John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’! I can listen to Charlie Mingus, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon and Bill Evans all day long!

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