Search - Ornette Coleman :: Tomorrow Is the Question

Tomorrow Is the Question
Ornette Coleman
Tomorrow Is the Question
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

The last two years of the 1950s and early years of the '60s saw Ornette Coleman exert a profound influence on the future direction of jazz. It was a remarkably fertile time for him as a composer. This set amply demonstrate...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ornette Coleman
Title: Tomorrow Is the Question
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ojc
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Avant Garde & Free Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 025218634229

The last two years of the 1950s and early years of the '60s saw Ornette Coleman exert a profound influence on the future direction of jazz. It was a remarkably fertile time for him as a composer. This set amply demonstrates his composing skill. Tunes like "Tears Inside," "Turnaround," and the aching beauty of "Lorraine" are brilliant and, in a perfect world, should be standard jazz repertoire today. Coleman quickly broke through to a new freedom in jazz. He would soon find more receptive players to work alongside than on this recording; however, the playing is still of high caliber and the tunes are now justly legendary. --Michael Monhart

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CD Reviews

For us timid souls, a great introduction to a revolutionary
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is my first Coleman CD. A casual jazz fan for the past 40 years, all I knew of him was that around 1960 he became famous for something called "free jazz." That style supposedly features meandering solos with shreiks, atonality, dissonance, lack of melody and harmony, etc. I don't know if it's all that bad, but I prefer my jazz to be traditional bebop, hard bop and third stream progressive, the stuff of the 1950's. I bought this CD, Ornette's second release (from early 1959) because the Amazon sound samples persuaded me that it preceded his more radical stuff and was listenable. Sure is. In fact, it is lovely, with a nice mixture of swing and ballads. Nothing here to scare away people like me, who like the early Miles, the early Coltrane, the early Cannonball, Paul Desmond, etc. Plenty in these 43 minutes to enjoy, and repeated listenings increase the pleasure. Someday perhaps I'll invest some dough in more infamous Coleman works, but this one proves that he knew how to play the accessible way BEFORE he abolished the rules and invented new approaches to jazz. I'm glad I have it, especially because all nine tunes are Coleman originals."
Tomorrow is the Answer!
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 07/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Now this is more like it! After a mediocre debut on "Somethin' Else," Ornette gets down to business on his second album for the Contemporary label, "Tomorrow Is The Question." Smartly Ornette has adopted a pianoless quartet for this recording, the lineup he became famous with on Atlantic. The songwriting is beginning to come together too, particularly on "Rejoicing." My reason for withholding a fifth star for this CD is twofold. First, if his Atlantic Recordings "The Shape of Jazz to Come," "This Is Our Music" and "Free Jazz" are five-starrers, this is clearly a notch below. Second, and more importantly, the personnel here are not quite on par with his Atlantic group. Don Cherry is here, but he is joined by Red Mitchell and Percy Heath alternating on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums. While these three are giants of jazz, they are certainly not monumental figures of the "new jazz" for a reason. They do not bring to Ornette's music what Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro, Billy Higgins or Ed Blackwell will later. Still, this is a great buy and not to be overlooked."
Unsympathetic support.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 09/02/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"An album that seems to garner more positive attention that I can ever understand, Ornette Coleman's sophomore album "Tomorrow is the Question!" is an unqualified disaster. His debut album, "Something Else!!!!", featured Coleman playing fairly straightforward pieces (all compositions that were several years old by that point) in a sympathetic backdrop but by and large with musicians who weren't quite ready to play with Coleman. Still, the pieces were largely advanced blues forms, and Coleman's non-tempered playing introduced a bit of tension to them (with the piano in conflict) and somehow, it works out ok.

This time around though, things are worse-- liberating himself from a piano, Coleman nonethless had a rhythm section foisted upon him of either Percy Heath or Red MItchell on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. One gets the impression they wanted to get it, but just couldn't. Coleman (on alto) and to a lesser extent Don Cherry (on trumpet) attempt to bring the music out, but every time they do, the bassist and Manne seem to stay with the straight pattern. This sort of leaves the soloist hanging, with disasterous results on several pieces (most noticably "Mind and Time" and "Compassion", where it almost sounds like the horns and rhythm are playing two different songs because their playing is so dramatically different and "Rejoicing" where Coleman tries to break the structure but the Heath in particular stubbornly walks).

In fact, the only piece that really seems to work is "Tears Inside", where both Cherry and Coleman solo much further inside than they do on any of the other pieces-- Cherry's solo in particular is lovely.

But in the end, the set is a disorganized mess-- these guys may have been sympathetic to Coleman, but they weren't prepared for what they had to do to keep his music intact. In several months when in New York, Coleman and Cherry would record masterpiece "The Shape of Jazz to Come" with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins, and the difference is astounding. This one is for completionists only."