50 Best Albums of 2017

Taylor Swift clapped back, Kendrick Lamar got personal, Lorde threw a high-concept party and more

Load Previous
Ornette Coleman, 'Celebrate Ornette'

43. Ornette Coleman, 'Celebrate Ornette'

This multimedia box set contains the last notes ever played in public by saxophone revolutionary Ornette Coleman, part of a 2014 tribute event in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. And what gorgeous notes they are, fragile lines that still drip with Coleman's trademark sense of joy and yearning. But the star-studded, three-hour-plus set also acts as a musical family tree, charting the way Coleman's liberation-music philosophy has played out across generations. We hear Flea funking away alongside Coleman's drummer son Denardo on "Broadway Blues"; Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Wilco's Nels Cline dueting on a spooky, feedback-laced version of 1962's "Sadness"; and sax geniuses Branford Marsalis, David Murray, Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane taking flight on Coleman's signature dirge "Lonely Woman." It's a testament to Coleman's genius that the whole set, including all of the Brooklyn show as well as cuts from Ornette's wake, sounds like the avant-garde party of the century. H.S.

Back to Top