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View Poll Results: Ascension or Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation
Ascension 3 60.00%
Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation 2 40.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-30-2014, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ascension vs. Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation

Which of the landmark free jazz albums do you prefer? John Coltrane's "Ascension" or Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation"?
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's been a while since I've listened to either of those albums, but of the two, Ascension has more moments bordering on musical coherence. Free Jazz, As much as I love Ornette Coleman, is pretty much pure chaos to my ears.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's been a while since I've listened to either of those albums, but of the two, Ascension has more moments bordering on musical coherence. Free Jazz, As much as I love Ornette Coleman, is pretty much pure chaos to my ears.
I feel the exact opposite. It's surely because I've listened to Free Jazz many more times than Ascension. I'm not going to say it's better but Free Jazz sounds more coherent to me.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I feel the exact opposite. It's surely because I've listened to Free Jazz many more times than Ascension. I'm not going to say it's better but Free Jazz sounds more coherent to me.
It's likely that your opinion is closer to reality as its been forever since I've listened to either album. The Shape of Jazz to Come is about as far into free jazz as I can venture these days.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, it's been forever for me too. When I was into that stuff I was really into it but I don't usually put on any free jazz these days. Also, I love The Shape of Jazz to Come. That one and The Avant-Garde (Coltrane and Cherry) are two albums that I used to think of as entry level (i.e. early) but still awesome improvised jazz. I'd definitely listen to either of those before Ascension or Free Jazz.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say that Free Jazz is utter cacophony, but it does have that element. Free Jazz has the best moments of the two, like the awesome drumming and the tradeoff bass solos. As a whole, I think that Ascension is better because I can listen to it a hundred times and still get lost in it, with the little motifs surprising me. Also, I think that the players had a lot better chemistry, especially between Coltrane, Sanders, and Shepp.
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Old 01-31-2014, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not to derail the thread, but an album that I almost inevitably bring up in conversations about free jazz is Trey Anastasio's [from Phish] Surrender to the Air, which was released in 96'. It's an 11 musician ensemble that was pretty much modeled after Sun Ra's flavor of big ensemble free jazz (Michael Ray, the trumpet player for Sun Ra's Arkestra is one of the members of the STTA ensemble). I like it because it takes the free jazz style and incorporates more contemporary, rock-like instrumentation. It's definitely worth hunting around for if it interests you. Searching Youtube turned up nada, so happy hunting.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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^
Hey man, even more important is the
presence of the great Marshall Allen
(as well as Marc Ribot).
Not to mention Kofi and Oteil Burbridge
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just broke the tie.
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