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How I Learned to "Deal" (Farewell Ornette): by Ben Jaffe

How I Learned to "Deal" (Farewell Ornette): by Ben Jaffe

"Our professor at Oberlin, Wendell Logan, truly one of the greatest men to grace earth, gave me instruction, "go to the library and go "DEAL" with Ornette!!" It wasn't the first time Professor Logan told me to go "DEAL" with something. First there was "Solo Monk" and the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaborations: Miles plus 19, Sketches of Spain, he told me to go "DEAL" with James Brown and Oliver Nelson. He told me to go "DEAL" with "Mingus Mingus Mingus" and "A Love Supreme". He told me to read "Beneath the Underdog" and introduced me to the work of Amiri Baraka. I eventually got over whatever it was that was holding me back from exploring, "DEALING" with Ornette. I went to the library and checked out the vinyl pressing (that's all we had then) of Ornette's seminal work "Shape of Jazz To Come". I found an empty kiosk and put the album on. I was drowsy, it was late in the day. I was one of the only students left in the library..... and then it happened..... Billy Higgins hypnotic, double time cymbal pattern, Charlie Haden's bass enters strumming chords in half time.... and from deep within the blues, Ornette and Don Cherry emerge with the most beautifully haunting melody. I had to stand up like you do at a Prince concert. I'd never heard anything like this!! It was both unfamiliar and familiar at the same time!! I couldn't sit down. I had to stand up, the way you do in church.... I'd felt this before when I listened to Big Bill Broonzy or Lightning Hopkins.."Is it in time or out of time??" "What the hell are they doing?" It didn't matter. Everything I ever needed from music was right there all in one composition, this one recording: "Lonely Woman". I ate up every Ornette album I could get my hands on. The idea of freedom form, "freed" my mind. It opened my mind to unlimited possibilities. Thank you Ornette, and Charlie Haden, and Don Cherry and Billy Higgins and Ed. Blackwell..... Thank you for opening a magical door for me. A magical door with limitless possibilities..." - Ben Jaffe

Funny or Die: What Not To Ask Famous Bands

Funny or Die: What Not To Ask Famous Bands

Happy 80th Birthday To The Late Great Allan Jaffe

Happy 80th Birthday To The Late Great Allan Jaffe