Symphonic Masterpiece – Ornette Coleman’s Skies of America

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February 24, 2013 by Admin

I hadn’t listened to the piece in years. Then, I recently found the complete recording of Ornette Coleman’s Skies of America online, listened to the first two or three minutes and decided I was in love with this music.

It has unmistakeable influences from the strongly-rooted, early 20th-century American music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles and Henry Cowell. It is also very suggestive of the chaos that still lingered in the country from the late 1960s. Recorded in 1972, the performers are the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Measham, Ornette Coleman on alto sax on a few cuts, and a gloriously unruly bunch of percussionists throughout.

Dig the titles of the movements:

1. “Skies of America” — 2:49
2. “Native Americans” — 1:10
3. “The Good Life” — 1:33
4. “Birthdays and Funerals” — 3:13
5. “Dreams” — 0:51
6. “Sounds of Sculpture” — 1:20
7. “Holiday for Heroes” — 1:10
8. “All of My Life” — 3:08
9. “Dancers” — 1:17
10. “The Soul Within Woman” — 0:47
11. “The Artists in America” — 3:54
12. “The New Anthem” — 0:31
13. “Place in Space” — 2:44
14. “Foreigner in a Free Land” — 1:19
15. “Silver Screen” — 1:10
16. “Poetry” — 1:15
17. “The Men Who Live in the White House” — 2:48
18. “Love Life” — 4:34
19. “The Military” — 0:32
20. “Jam Session” — 0:39
21. “Sunday in America” — 4:29

Now, dig this remarkable music.


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