Ornette Coleman

The Territory and the Adventure

Maria Golia

Ornette Coleman

Maria Golia

Distributed for Reaktion Books

368 pages | 60 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142235 Published May 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142631 Published April 2020 For sale in North and South America only
Ornette Coleman’s career encompassed the glory years of jazz and the American avant-garde. Born in segregated Fort Worth, Texas, during the Great Depression, the African-American composer and musician was zeitgeist incarnate. Steeped in the Texas blues tradition, he and jazz grew up together, as the brassy blare of big band swing gave way to bebop—a faster music for a faster, postwar world. At the luminous dawn of the Space Age and New York’s 1960s counterculture, Coleman gave voice to the moment. Lauded by some, maligned by many, he forged a breakaway art sometimes called “the new thing” or “free jazz.” Featuring previously unpublished photographs of Coleman and his contemporaries, this book tells the compelling story of one of America’s most adventurous musicians and the sound of a changing world.
Contents
Introduction Part One: Coming Up Part Two: Ignition Part Three: Atmospherics Part Four: Transmissions Epilogue
Review Quotes
David Hajdu | New York Times Book Review
“Fittingly unconventional. . . . Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure is an atlas in prose, a guide to the territories of varied sorts—social, racial, aesthetic, economic, and even geographic—that Coleman came out of, traveled through, lived near, occupied, left behind, or transformed. . . . Golia covers a lot of territory in tight, direct language that illuminates Ornette Coleman’s life and work. . . . Most impressively, perhaps, she devotes a sizable section to Coleman’s cryptic and elliptical philosophy of music, which he called Harmolodics, without straining to defend it with academic triple-talk or dismissing it.”
Julian Lucas | Harper's
"Golia offers a wide-ranging biography of the great saxophonist, writing less about the man himself than about the people, places, and musical tendencies that converged to make him the 'patron saint of all things dissonant and defiant.' The approach suits Coleman, who was soft-spoken despite his stubborn nonconformity, and unaffected by the larger-than-life egotism of contemporaries such as Charles Mingus or Miles Davis."
MOJO
"One of the finest books on the power of place and influence in a musician's life."
uDiscover Music
"There are lots of fascinating anecdotes, stories, and previously unpublished photographs in Golia’s book. The author, who met Coleman in his hometown of Fort Worth, at the Caravan Of Dreams performing arts center, described the musician as 'unassuming and soft spoken.' She has compiled a detailed, interesting story of his career. Among the nuggets detailed are his appearance on Saturday Night Live in April 1979, how he got to know the writer William S. Burroughs, the story of his action-packed tour of Africa, how he became a noted painter, and the tales of his friendships with celebrities such as Yoko Ono and Patti Smith."
Morning Star
"Golia’s book describes the Ornette phenomenon with insight and eloquence. It’s laden with musical and social insights."
Stereogum
"A great new book. . . .. The book is much more than a conventional biography—you learn a lot about his childhood and artistic development, particularly the early years when he was wrestling with the blues and conventional R&B forms, and you learn about the whole Texas milieu he emerged from. But there’s also a great deal of discussion of his music and life philosophy, including extensive quotes from people in his bands, so if you’re at all a fan of his work and want to gain some real perspective on it, it’s pretty much a must-read. Highly recommended."
Record Collector
"Golia's well-researched volume paints a portrait of a man who looked different, ate differently (being a vegetarian in Texas was no joke), and, of course, played differently. . . . We learn a great deal about Coleman's musical beginnings, his subsequent motivations, and the broader landscape of which he was a part."
Gary Giddins, music critic, author, and biographer
“The history of jazz is often told as a geographical adventure in which a great art enlightens and assimilates a chain of territories in the course of world conquest. Golia revitalizes that narrative in exploring the life and genius of Ornette Coleman. This is the most incisive portrait we have of him—a joyous addition to the literature of music.”
Ethan Iverson, musician and music critic
“It’s always good to learn more about one of America’s greatest musicians, and Golia’s work has much that is new, especially (at last) a proper overview of Ornette’s experience in his hometown of Fort Worth, both in his youth and the 1980s. The Territory and the Adventure is the best book on Ornette Coleman yet.”
Pat Metheny, musician, composer, educator
“Following Ornette's departure from the planet, his presence in the world only seems to increase, and his music’s influence will no doubt continue far into the future. The poetic conception of music, sound, and life in the broadest sense that Ornette embodied is addressed here through the terrific writing of Golia. This volume is an excellent addition to the ongoing study of one of the greatest improvising musicians of all time.”
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