Personnel: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone, trumpet); Dewey Redman (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
Producer: Francisc Wolff.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, New York on April 29 & May 7, 1968. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna.
"New York Is Now," (1968) was one of Ornette Coleman's final sessions for Blue Note. He was joined by Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (bass)--half of John Coltrane's great quartet--and Dewey Redman (tenor sax). Coleman had not been working with another horn player since Don Cherry's departure in 1962.
The music is as light as the light that bounced off the buildings in New York in those days--fractured tales, shifting grooves. "Garden of Souls" is idiosyncratic, written in Ornette's native tongue. The melody recalls ancient Greece and the players seem imbued with Democracy. Ornette's music is designed to free the musicians, yet somehow it all coheres. Dewey Redman's solo is arresting. When he starts, it sounds like a soul frolicking in the graveyard.
"Broad Way Blues" and "Round Trip" sound as familiar as children's songs, or commercials. Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison make "Round Trip" swing like hell. Listening to Jones' cymbal work is a lesson in grooves. Ornette's playing throughout is unique: simple but opaque, his melodies make a strong case for something that's hard to put your finger on.