The New York Times — Freewheeling Musician Gets Free-Form Tribute
“Ornette... is full of tantalizing stuff: formal juxtapositions, half-sketched implications, parallel experiments of image and sound. By virtue of the footage alone, it’s a valuable time capsule for anyone drawn to Mr. Coleman’s work, particularly in the two decades following the cusp of the 1960s, when his dauntless, affirming vision of free improvisation famously created a crisis of faith in jazz.”
The New Yorker - Ornette Coleman's Big Adventure
"Cause for celebration... One of the crucial revelations of Clarke’s film is the utopian aspect of Coleman’s music. The progression from a quartet to a string quartet to a symphony orchestra to a rock band is only a small part of his striving to take the music out of its original context in clubs and studios."
Art Forum - The Shape of Jazz
"Ornette is an intricately knit series of riffs on free jazz giant Ornette Coleman, one of the greatest living artists twentieth-century modernism produced. What makes the movie thrilling beginning to end is the score that Coleman himself wrote for it, largely derived from one of his major works, Skies of America (1972), a composition for symphony orchestra and free-jazz combo."
Christian Science Monitor
"Ornette attempts to blend not only Coleman’s variegated styles and syncopations but Clarke’s as well. The film is a multimedia extravaganza, with film and video and Super 16 film all working off each other in a way that is, well, jazzy."
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