[JPL] Ornette Coleman's Liner Notes

Eric Jackson eric-jackson at comcast.net
Fri Apr 28 09:51:34 EDT 2006

On Thursday 27 April 2006 23:58, Larry Appelbaum wrote:
> -------------------------------------------

> >Has anyone read Ornette Coleman's liner notes for the Odean Pope CD
> > "Locked & Loaded?" I got it.......I think. For a moment I thought someone
> > slipped something in my orange juice. Has anyone ever interviewed him? If
> > so, how did it go?
> >   Jae Sinnett
> Ornette has always lived in his own world. It's worth re-reading A.B.
> Spellman's book "Four Jazz Lives" (formerly Four Lives In The Bebop
> Business), which has an interesting chapter on Ornette, much of it in his
> own voice. There's also a fascinating interview w/Ornette in Art Taylor's
> book "Notes & Tones." More recently, Robin James wrote a short interview
> w/Ornette in the Dec. '05 issue of Down Beat. And if you can find it, take
> a look at Shirley Clarke's film "Ornette: Made In America."
> I would also like to know if anyone here has interviewed him.
> Larry Appelbaum

I have interviewed Ornette. It was sometime in the early 80s. I really enjoyed 
the interview and it got a lot of positive response, if I remember correctly. 
The interview took an interesting turn when I mentioned a book to him that I 
was pretty sure he was familiar with it. (Stanton Davis told me about the 
book and he said Don Cherry told him about it) The book was called the Sufi 
Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan which I had read about 10 years before the 
interview. One volume in Khan's writings deals with music and sound. At one 
time I knew lots of musicians who had read the book.

I have done hundreds of interviews but the Ornette interview is one of a very 
few that I've ever re-aired. I've been considering putting it up on our 

Larry Appelbaum mentioned A.B. Spellman's book. I read that book in 1971. It's 
title at that time was Black Music: Four Lives For The Bebop Business. 
Shortly after I finished reading the book Ornette came to Boston to play at 
the Jazz Workshop. I got a chance to spend some time with him and to talk 
with him. Fred Taylor, who owned the club (and who now books Scullers and the 
Tanglewood Jazz Festival) introduced me to Charlie Haden. Charlie and I hung 
out quite a bit. I remember the two of us searching for stores that sold what 
were called peasant shirts or blouses for Charlie. I interviewed Charlie that 
week and aired it on both stations that I was on. That was my first 

Ornette gave me his phone number and told me to call him sometime when I got 
to New York. I called him the next time I was there and he invited me to his 
house! I think he was living on Prince Street at that time. I went to his 
house and I was fascinated. His violin was sitting in one place, a plastic 
alto was sitting on top of something, there were drums and I think I remember 
vibes. Ornette talked a lot. He was in a very good mood but he was clearly 
frustrated with the music business. That was a wonderful afternoon that I 
spent with Ornette.

Eric Jackson
8 pm - mid Mon - Thurs
WGBH Boston
89.7 FM

> -------------------------------------------
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