By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
"That’s what’s amazing about styles," he says. "Sometimes styles are just like if you have a pair of shoes you like, you keep wearin’ ’em because they feel good."
Gentle as he is, Coleman really may be a threat to the established order. It’s hard to know how serious he is about the benefits of the silicon age.
"With all of the advanced technologies, the level of human consciousness is being raised to the point that what is called a job is no longer a job," he says. "It’s just information."
That makes a lot of us jobless, doesn’t it?
SOUND MUSEUM: HIDDEN MAN; THREE WOMEN
Several titles are familiar from ’70s and ’80s Coleman albums, but the treatments aren’t. Geri Allen’s piano defines a new acoustic-quartet sound: gauzy and moody or taut and light. She whirls Halloween dust through the empty, oxygen-deficient rooms of "Sound Museum," punches fist clusters through the busybusy traffic of "City Living," draws amazing implications from the stereotypical Mexican village of "P.P. (Picolo Pesos)." Her approach is complex without narrowing the other musicians’ playing field.
Bassist Charnett Moffett (whose given name combines that of his father, Charles Moffett, one of Coleman’s ’60s drummers, and O.C.’s) is overrevved at times, but whips out a terrific pluckety-bang introduction to "Biosphere," one of the best tunes on both albums, with its all-for-one common effort driven along by Denardo Coleman’s turbulent, headlong drumming. Denardo, in addition to being one of the best underacknowledged skinsmen on the planet, continues brilliantly in his role as producer: the sound is crisp, almost rocklike, augmented by inventive and appropriate use of reverb.
Ornette Coleman, whose wheedling, flexible alto style is unmistakable and by now almost too familiar, takes a few refreshing spins on his alternate instruments. His trumpet on "Women of the Veil" generates powerful impetus within a sloshing rhythm/antirhythm Arabic framework. And his spidery violin work on the Three Women version of "Sound Museum" displays three distinct tonal colorations in a brief space.
Coleman has long shown a fixation with symmetry: double quartets, two instruments doubling a complicated riff, two bands doing the same songs, now one band doing the same songs in two different versions. Sound Museum’s double-take is supposed to illustrate the variety generated by harmolodics, and indeed it does -- the twins are far from identical, and the highlights of Hidden Man and Two Women rarely fall in the same places. The split may be instructive, but it doesn’t help you decide which album to buy, since the quality of the two is exactly equal (and extremely high). You know what? It doesn’t matter. Flip a coin or get both.