I look forward to a close reading of Mr. Williams book. This is “Lonely Woman,” the opening track on Ornette Coleman’s 1959 Atlantic Records album The Shape of Things to Come.
The late Fifties and early Sixties were years of revolution in the history of jazz: bebop had become hard bop; hot jazz cooled; new rhythms, harmonies, textures, structures were transforming the music, revitalizing it, freeing it. Leading the revolution were a group of young players and composers: John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Scott La Faro, Cecil Taylor, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus, and a 29-year old named Ornette Coleman who came out of the West with a handful of tunes, a toy saxophone, and a fresh improvisatory style that stunned critics and audiences in heard-it-all New York. “The New Thing,” as it was called, divided the jazz community so completely it was impossible to remain indifferent.