Harmolodics Book Reviewed

English: Ornette Coleman at Enjoy Jazz Festiva...

Source: Burning Ambulance.

Free Jazz, Harmolodics, and Ornette Coleman, the new book from pianist and educator Stephen Rush (get it from Amazon), sets itself a fairly audacious task: explaining what Harmolodics is. The shallowest answer, and the one most frequently offered, is that Harmolodics is the system that Ornette Coleman devised to compose and improvise, and which he used from the 1950s until his death in 2015. As a word, Harmolodics is a portmanteau of harmony, melody, and rhythmic.

The deeper answer is that Harmolodics is much more than just a composition/improvisation system; Harmolodics is a philosophy that reflects the ideals of life. That leads us into the guts of this new book: Harmolodics as philosophy, explained mostly through the words and music of Coleman himself and Rush’s explanations thereof.

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