Search - Ornette Coleman :: Change of the Century

Change of the Century
Ornette Coleman
Change of the Century
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

2002 remastered reissue of 1959 album. Featuring the extraordinary talents of Don Cherry, Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins. Digipak. Warner Jazz.


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CD Details

All Artists: Ornette Coleman
Title: Change of the Century
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Original Release Date: 1/1/1960
Re-Release Date: 2/25/1992
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 075678134128


Album Description
2002 remastered reissue of 1959 album. Featuring the extraordinary talents of Don Cherry, Charlie Haden & Billy Higgins. Digipak. Warner Jazz.

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CD Reviews

Not quite the masterpiece 'Shape' was, but awfully good.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Following up a classic album is always a difficult endeavor. Certainly to do so when that album was revolutionary and influential is even harder. Our natural tendency as listeners and amateur critics is to compare albums to each other, particularly those that are relatively contemporary to each other. Such is the case with Ornette Coleman's "Change of the Century", followup to "The Shape of Jazz to Come". Released just five months later, it finds Coleman's quartet (the leader on alto sax, Don Cherry on cornet, Charlie Haden on bass and Billy Higgins on drums) in full flight-- more comfortable as a unit, in some ways, the performance is tighter and better than "The Shape of Jazz to Come", but as a result of this, in some ways it seems to lack the urgency and immediacy of the album it followed.

Still, lacking immediacy doesn't make a bad album, and there's plenty of good material on here-- the fractured title track largely represents everything critics of Coleman have to say about him-- its disjoint theme and following solos are unpredictable, even on repeated listens, and manage somehow to be stunning each time, no dobut due to the sympathetic playing of Haden and Higgins. Likewise, on "Una Muy Bonita" and "The Face of the Bass"-- the two of them strike a delicate mix between free association with the soloist and swing that keeps things together and coherent. And check out Cherry and Haden together on "Ramblin'"-- clearly the two of them have developed an unusual rapport that they can utilize to great effect.

All in all, "Change of the Century" a good followup to "The Shape of Jazz To Come"-- not quite the masterpiece that album is, but a worthwhile listen. Recommended."
Remastered Change
David Conklin | Albuquerque, NM USA | 03/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a classic recording, only slightly less compelling than Coleman's SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME. If you like SHAPE, you'll certainly like CHANGE. These of course were recorded within a few months of each other, by the same legendary group (Coleman, Cherry, Haden, Higgins). To these ears, this remastered version is a big improvement (higher resolution) over the original CD. Same goes for the remastered version of SHAPE. These are both from the ATLANTIC MASTERS series (Warner Jazz), made in Germany. I haven't heard the much more expensive Japanese imports, but I expect the German ones may be hard to beat. The only downside is that you almost need a microscope to read the liner notes, and there's quite a bit to read."
Good, brave, inovative jazz
Nikica Gilic | 12/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I must admit I'm not very much experienced with free jazz; I listened to some Pharoah Sanders and to some of Miles Davis' experiments with this style ("Cookin' at plugged nickel" or something like that...). Well, I was moderatly impressed and moderately confused. I have also listened to some of the more recent jazz explorations by Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, as well as some recordings by Art Ensemble of Chicago and Wayne Shorter's latest explorations that go beyond most traditional achievements,,,
It therefore seemed about time I went to the source...

First of all, I am impressed by the level of expressiveness of this music; it is no accident that Coleman's liner notes mention New Orleans jazz - some of his (but also Cherry's) solos have brought back some of the tonal features that started to disappear as early as the swing era...
I'm not an expert but I'm almost certain I heard Ornette produce some blue notes on his plastic instrument!

Naturally, New Orleans style is one of the styles in jazz in which collective improvisation was not so uncommon, so it is no wonder that, in the attempt to free jazz from Charlie Parker's magnificent shadow, Ornette at times went to the sources of jazz. In addition to that, the occasional "ethno" influences on this album (not only in the last song)are a continuation of the usual manners in which jazz musicians tried to infuse new ideas into their music; Ellington, Gillespie and others were particularly impressed by Latin America(s), there were even some Middle East experiments, but it was about time in the late 50's someone shows the influences of South Asia and other sources...

However, I must admit I still dig Ornette's explanations much more than I dig the music... This is fine jazz, with strong sense of swing and, at least occasionally, with fine drive, but all in all, I'm not hypocritical enough to hide my opinion that the band at times rambles a bit too much...

Also, keeping the format of innitial and concluding statement of...well...anti-melody at some songs also doesn't seem such a good idea . I think that much better, or at least "freer", is the approach on "Change of the Century"...

Perhaps if I devote more time to this style I would get used to it or discover more beauty, but as for now, 4 stars is the maximum I can give...
Even that is a bit far fetched, rewarding the courage and determination to follow original path (regardless of the number of followers)..."