The weekend, almost, but not quite. To carry us over the Friday line, a triple boost of the music that made this country and can make it again: At 8 p.m. ET, a must-catch livestream of the energizing Detroit-born drummer Gerald Cleaver, joined by the hard-swinging saxophonist Matt Nelson, bassist Brandon Lopez, and guitarist Brandon Seabrook, in performance and conversation from Brooklyn’s Park West Studios. Get the Zoom here.
Second boost: Ornette Coleman. He died five years ago yesterday after a life in which he rewrote the fundamental language of music by revolutionizing harmony, single-handedly inventing “harmolodics.” It’s the musical philosophy and improvisational and compositional method for which he won a 2007 Pulitzer. (Took the Pulitzer committee long enough; justice delayed is justice denied.) The cultural and cosmic freedom of Ornette’s music is indelible. He won the prize for his album Sound Grammar. Brace yourself and spin it.
Third boost: Happy birthday to the timelessly great (and late) Geri Allen, born 63 years ago today. She was a pianist admired and embraced by all corners of her many communities, which can’t be said of all legendary artists. Here she gives us “Lush Life.”