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Rhino Reissues Ornette, Bill Evans, and More

Look at that album cover. Crazy, man, crazy. Hell and damn if it isn’t one of the best ever. It’s the cover of alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s 1961 album Ornette!, and its disorienting look goes hand-in-hand with the “out there” music on the disc it covers-music that’s just as good as the artwork. It’s strange that the album is being issued on CD this year for the first time, one of five new CDs in Rhino’s Jazz Masters series.

Originally issued on Atlantic, Ornette! followed Coleman’s seminal free-jazz album, Free Jazz. While both discs feature the free sound, Free Jazz was recorded by a daring, double quartet. Ornette! Finds the Coleman with a single quartet rounded out by pocket trumpeter Don Cherry, drummer Ed Blackwell and bassist Scott LaFaro on bass. Not only does this reissue finally bring this album to CD, but it gives us another cut as a bonus, the 10-minute “Proof Readers.”

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