A bunch of us got together last Sunday at the Berkeley Arts Festival space to celebrate Ornette. People shared stories: of seeing the Quartet repeatedly at the Five Spot in ’58, of spending many hours with Ornette at his home, playing and discussing music, of seeing the double bill of Ornette and Joe Liggins and the Honeydrippers at Wolfgang’s in San Francisco, a show which I’ve also heard about from Harry Duncan, who produced it.
The previous day there was an event celebrating and marking the end of the two-year residency of Myra Melford at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There too, the spirit of Ornette permeated the proceedings, and this was remarked upon by many. Lisa Mezzacappa and Kasey Knudsen played Jayne, so beautifully. The day and the residency programming as a whole were remarkable for their fusion of community outreach, large scale works with texts and voices, workshops, and an articulation of lineages.
Ornette Coleman, B.B. King, and Pete Seeger, y’know?