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09 November 2012

Friday Music: "Lonely Woman" - Ornette Coleman

I give you Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman":

As with this album (The Shape of Jazz to Come) and most of his work, Colman in this song poses a direct challenge to jazz as a set of genres and to music as an art form more broadly by "composing" outside of the typical structural constraints that had been assumed integral and definitional to Western music, a subgenre that became known as "free jazz." By doing so, Coleman highlights the social, political, and historical embeddedness of all art. While many perceive the song as esoteric, dissonant, and "out," it is not atonal or without melody. I find it profound and hauntingly beautiful even while intellectually challenging.

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