Dancing In Your Head
Dancing In Your Head
Dancing In Your Head
Dancing In Your Head

Dancing In Your Head

Regular price $35.00
Please allow 10 working days to process before shipping
Brown Unstructured Hat 
 Buckled Closer - 100% Pigment Dyed Twill
Profits to Ridgewood Tenants Union

Ornette Coleman, the early advocate of a "free jazz" that some confused with chaos, has emerged as a theoretician and a structuralist, originator of the difficult-to-define but widely-discussed discipline he calls harmolodics.

Coleman is a painter as well as a musician, and sometimes one gets the impression that he is "seeing" melody or sound. His penchant for developing musical ideas doesn't always work in sequences of theme-and-variation. Sometimes it's more like he is visualizing a note or phrase as a three-dimensional construct, to be studied at close range and at arm's length, turned this way and that, examined from a variety of angles. This effect is intensified when the music involves a group of players improvising collectively. Each musician is relating to and drawing from a theme Coleman has written out in advance, but each individual hears it, and plays it, somewhat differently. And from Ornette's point of view, each contribution is equally essential to the whole. One tends to hear the horn player as a soloist, backed by a rhythm section, but this is not Coleman's perspective. "In the music we play," he said, "no one player has the lead. Anyone can come out with it at any time."

This is a typical utopian ideal, but as a concept, as a goal, it is absolutely fundamental to the music herein. Every time Coleman apparently takes the lead, pulling the bassist and drummer along in his wake, you can be sure that a moment of synergy, an unequivocal dialogue of equals, is right around the corner. Even when Coleman and trumpet player Don Cherry are playing a written theme together, the same notes and phrases in the same register, they play it as individuals. The fine points of each player's phrasing and inflection are deliberately invoked to render each one's voice distinct.


Dancing in Your Head
Dancing in Your Head is a studio album by Coleman, released in 1977 by Horizon Records. "Theme from a Symphony" was the first recording to feature Coleman's electric band, which later became known as Prime Time. The symphony referenced is Coleman's own Skies of America. William S. Burroughs was present for the recording of "Midnight Sunrise", which was recorded with the Master Musicians of Jajouka in 1973. 

“I still remember when I first heard this record in 1976, shortly after it's release. I had just gotten into Ornette's early quartet and trio recordings and was mourning what I thought was his permanent retirement from recording. I was listening to the late night jazz program on Minnesota public radio and tuned in to this wild funky music. I was immediately captured by the funky beat, the swirling polyrhythms of the guitars and the astounding melodic bass playing. And overtop of it all was this marvelous saxophone. I kept thinking, "jeez (it was Minnesota after all) this guy sounds just like Ornette. But with a funk band!" Imagine my surprise when I found out that indeed, the plastic-altoed Texas master was back recording...and with such a radical conception.
For me, Prime Time was and is a revelation in the music of the seventies. Though funk and free jazz have many commonalities and the ties between them go back at least to Archie Shepp's and Pharoah Saunders' Impulse albums, the relationship is mostly unnoticed. Miles' early jazz-rock experiments were largely free jazz albums with funky beats. The Art Ensemble of Chicago recorded some potent free-funk in 1968 in Paris of all places. And groups like EWF and especially P-Funk often had extended moments in their jams where the improvisation lost touch with earth for a minute or two and floated freely into the stratosphere. But by 1976 much of the initial creative fever in jazz-funk had died...Miles was retired, Herbie's Headhunters were moving more to disco, and most of the early promise of the movement on the jazz side was sliding towards what would become "smooth jazz" a decade later.
Then Ornette came on the scene with this album and with his translation of the "harmelodic" principal to jazz-funk and a whole new generation of the music was born. Harmelodics is Coleman's much vaunted and little understood idea of how to organize free jazz music. Basically stated, it is an idea that the counterpoint of melodies creates constantly shifting harmonic dissonances, which, along with the polyrhythmic denseness of the rhythm section, creates a rising tension that substitutes for traditional harmonic progression. (It's couched in much more mystical language which serves to obscure the concept to the point where even some of the musicians who've played with him remain confused by it. One of my friends, who actually plays on this album, calls himself a "victim of harmelodics") Applying this principle to jazz-funk creates a sound unlike anything else...it's often dense and polytonal, but as is the case for all of Coleman's free jazz, it's still deeply rooted in the blues and Texas R and B.
Dominated by two long takes of the same melody, "Theme from a Symphony" which is a favorite Coleman tune that has an almost childlike sing-song quality, the music is a dense jam that at times resembles American funk and at other times sounds like Nigerian highlife gone sharply left. Coleman embraces the spirit of real funk here, which at heart is an African-based spirit, in which the individual players express their individuality and yet work together to create a marvelous collective stew. This African inspiration becomes more obvious on the two tracks of improvisation with the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Mixing wild free improv over the ecstatic Sufi music creates an almost trance-like feel, though neither track truly gets going before it's time to stop. They are more interesting as experiments and as signposts in Coleman's intellectual development than as successful tracks in their own right.
The electric group on this album, which was to become Prime Time, went on to release several very successful albums, perhaps even more successful than Dancing In Your Head. However this album is essential because of the ground it broke when it came out. Coleman and Prime Time had an electrifying effect on the downtown New York scene when this music started getting around the lofts. Its influence can be felt in the work of Blood Ulmer, Joseph Bowie's Defunkt and any number of Bill Laswell projects. But its biggest impact was on the burgeoning No Wave movement in the punk world. Teenage Jesus and the Jerks cited Coleman as a major influence, and James Chance actually sounded like a more punky and less talented Ornette when he blew on his saxophone. And with the rise of the neo-no-wave groups out of Chicago the influence continues. Hopefully, with its re-release, Dancing In Your Head will reach an entirely new generation of musicians and continue the party well into the new century.”

“A total disaster. The word, here, has a very positive meaning. As in many other Ornette albums, the massive improvised piece has a clear structure: there is a melody, and it's one of his most disorienting themes, also a bit Ayler-esque in its childish repetitivity; then comes the saxophone solo, and it's not a particularly harsh one (on the contrary, I'd say it's wonderfully built, especially in the "first variation": never lets up intensity, great rhythmic and melodic creativity throughout); then the main theme is played again. So where is the disaster?
It's in the unbelievable sound spit out by that killer rhythmic section, in the... offensive double guitar blast - none of them are distorted! - and in the catastrophic groove by Ronald Shannon Jackson (he is a fantastic drummer, check out also his excellent work with Last Exit), full of polyrhythmic fragments but still HUGELY danceable and solid. This is probably the most extreme thing you will ever find in ANY Ornette Coleman album.
Of course they dance in your head. They're having a lot of fun. If you survive the chaos, you'll enjoy this fantastic piece of music too.”

“The many stages of American music have brought the use of melody in social and commercial music under the gun (the very word); melody, is staring down the gun barrel. Any person in today’s music scene knows that rock, classical, folk and jazz are all yesterday's titles. I feel that the music world is getting closer to being a singular expression, one with endless musical stories of mankind. Is there a mood everyone wishes at the same time and space? By listening and dancing one finds those wishes to come true in whatever might be playing or singing. 

These notes you are reading cannot express the pleasure of this record simply because the music conceives a performance of compositional improvising with the Western and Eastern musical forms, resolving into each other’s lead. Let me tell you the history stuff, “Midnight Sunrise,” the Eastern music form, is performed by the master musicians in Joujouka, Morocco. They are playing non-tempered reed and string instruments and different sized drums. Even though there is no “Western” pitch, one hears unison (check it out, student). To the musician in the classroom “Theme From A Symphony” was written and arranged rhythms, harmonies and tempos are all equal in relationship and independent melodies at the same time. 

To read or write or play without reading or writing; to execute our ideas on an instrument, isn’t that the result of us all in making musical sounds that we feel and think for those who love music? I would like to write more about the technical aspect of the musical relationship of all instruments to an orchestral concept for the classroom later. “Dancing In Your Head” is a joy when it comes to sounds, Let’s keep in touch.” - Ornette Colemanm, March 15, 1977

Harmolodics is the musical philosophy and compositional/improvisational method of jazz by Coleman, whose work following this philosophy during the late 1970s and 1980s inspired a style of free-thinking jazz funk known as harmolodic funk. It is associated with avant-garde jazz and free jazz, although its implications extend beyond these limits. Coleman also used the name "Harmolodic'' for both his first website and his record label.

Coleman defined harmolodics as "the use of the physical and the mental of one's own logic made into an expression of sound to bring about the musical sensation of unison executed by a single person or with a group". Applied to the particulars of music, this means that "harmony, melody, speed, rhythm, time and phrases all have equal position in the results that come from the placing and spacing of ideas".

Harmolodics seeks to free musical compositions from any tonal center, allowing harmonic progression independent of traditional European notions of tension and release. Harmolodics may loosely be defined as an expression of music in which harmony, movement of sound, and melody all share the same value. The general effect is that music achieves an immediately open expression, without being constrained by tonal limitations, rhythmic predetermination, or harmonic rules.

Ronald Radano suggests that Coleman's concepts of harmonic unison and harmolodics were influenced by Pierre Boulez's theory of aleatory while Gunther Schuller suggested that harmolodics is based on the superimposition of the same or similar phrases, thus creating polytonality and heterophony.

The Harmolodic Manifesto
Of all inventions of 20th century musical instruments the most challenging ones today are the electric guitar, bass & drums. Most of those who play these instruments, which are countless players, are dedicated only to their personal expressions free of concepts and styles. Normally they are used as supportive players not equal to jazz or classical concepts, etc. When I started to form a Harmolodic Band, I auditioned a young kid who did not read or write music that played the Bass (electric). I asked him to play whatever he wanted. As he started to play I joined him and when he stopped I thought I would offer him a job and teach him Harmolodics. He told me he did not want to play the kind of music we were playing although I was playing with him (what an example of personal interest). This confirmed my belief in Harmolodics. 

Question: "Where can/will I find a player who can read (or not read) who can play their instrument to their own satisfaction and accept the challenge of the music environment?" For Harmolodic Democracy - the player would need the freedom to express what Harmolodic information they found to work in composed music. There is always a rhythm - melody - harmony concept. All ideas have lead resolutions. Each player can choose any of the connections from the composer's work for their personal expression, etc. Prime Time is not a jazz, classical, rock or blues ensemble. It is pure Harmolodic where all forms that can, or could exist yesterday, today, or tomorrow can exist in the now or moment without a second.


Enter: "Sound Museum." The title is used as a metaphor. The sound of this music is made from the way it's played not by a given sound played in a set sequence. All are expressed as equal information for the players to compose improvised without any reference to a style which lies in the judgment of memory. In writing a letter or any form of academic expression, the results are all used as a form of repetition. Equal but not free. Free but not equal. One only has to observe someone else's judgment to know that. 

This CD has one song and thirteen instrumentals. The song tells a story of the need and want of a couple who have had a relationship for a long time while existing with the condition of their trust and love. "Sound Museum" exists in two CD renditions of the same compositions played differently in each rendition. This concept was done to show music harmolodically. In the Harmolodic world the concept of space and time are not past or future but the present. Applied harmolodics will allow equal relationship to any information where an answer or a concept is an opinion. The four players are expressing their opinions free of the leader. In harmolodics, the melody is not the lead. The melody occupies the same concept as a written document like a letter. One writes what they wish as in a song: Don't You Know By Now. As a composer/player, the work that goes into composing is totally independent of playing and vice versa. I have found this to be true of playing the violin and trumpet. I don't play either the same as I do the saxophone. For me it is impossible, unless I transpose what is called the melody and play the same unison pitches on each instrument. It comes out sounding different. For me, it works.

All musicians who are playing in this quartet and Prime Time use the Harmolodic concept. Harmolodics is not a style. Those who judge the concept of Harmolodic playing are using outdated terms to describe their knowledge. All listeners are equal in their opinions. Communism, socialism, capitalism, and monarchy in the world (have) and are changing for a truer relationship of the democracy of the individual. Every person who has had a democratic experience by birth or by passport knows there are no hatred or enemies in democracy, because everyone is an individual. Learning, doing, being, are the conversationship for perfecting, protecting, and caring of the belief in existence as an individual in relationship to everyone, physically, mentally, spiritually

- The concept of self.
- I play pure emotion. 
- In music, the only thing that matters is whether you feel it or not.
- Chords are just the name for sounds, which really need no names at all, as names are sometimes confusing
- Blow what you feel - anything. Play the thought, the idea in your mind - Break away from the convention and stagnation - escape!
- Musicians have more room to express themselves with me. They should be free to play things as they feel it, the way it's comfortable for them to play it. You can use any note and rhythm pattern that makes good sense for you. You just hear it - like beautiful thoughts - you don't listen to people telling you how to play. 
- My music doesn't have any real time, no metric time. It has time, but not in the sense that you can time it. It's more like breathing - a natural, freer time. People have forgotten how beautiful it is to be natural. Even in love.
- When we were on relief during the Depression, they'd give us dried-up old cheese and dried milk and we'd get ourselves all filled up and we'd kept this thing going, singing and dancing. I remember that when I play. You have to stick to your roots. Sometimes I play happy. Sometimes I play sad. But the condition of being alive is what I play all the time.
- Music has no face. Whatever gives oxygen its power, music is cut from the same cloth.
- It was when I realized I could make mistakes that I decided I was really on to something.
-People don't realize it, but there is a real folklore music in jazz. It's neither black nor white. It's the mixture of the races, and folklore has come from it.
- I have found that by eliminating chords or keys or melodies as being the present idea of what you're trying to feel I think you can play more emotion into the music. In other words, you can have the harmony, melody, intonation all blending into one to the point of your emotional thought.
- There is a music that has the quality to preserve life.
- I listen to anybody. The only thing I am interested in is their natural ability. I don't care if they're playing buckets. I'm only interested in what gets through to people, what makes them tap their feet, what moves them.
- I was out at Margaret Mead's school and was teaching some kids how to play instantly. I asked the question, 'How many kids would like to play music and have fun?' And all the little kids raised up their hands. And I asked, 'Well, how do you do that?' And one little girl said, 'You just apply your feelings to sound.' She was right - if you apply your feelings to sound, regardless of what instrument you have, you'll probably make good music.
 - You really have to have players with you who will allow your instincts to flourish in such a way that they will make the same order as if you sat down and wrote a piece of music. To me, that is the most glorified goal of the improvising quality of playing - to be able to do that.

A superellipse, also known as a Lamé curve after Gabriel Lamé, is a closed curve resembling the ellipse, retaining the geometric features of semi-major axis and semi-minor axis, and symmetry about them, but a different overall shape. The general Cartesian notation of the form comes from Lamé, who generalized the equation for the ellipse.

The outer outlines of the letters 'o' and 'O' in Hermann Zapf's “Melior” typeface are described by superellipses with n = log(1/2) / log (7/9) ≈ 2.758. Thirty years later Donald Knuth would build the ability to choose between true ellipses and superellipses (both approximated by cubic splines) into his Computer Modern type family.

Civilized man is surrounded on all sides, indoors and out, by a subtle, seldom-noticed conflict between two ancient ways of shaping things: the orthogonal and the round. Cars on circular wheels, guided by hands on circular steering wheels, move along streets that intersect like the lines of a rectangular lattice. Buildings and houses are made up mostly of right angles, relieved occasionally by circular domes and windows. At rectangular or circular tables, with rectangular napkins on our laps, we eat from circular plates and drink from glasses with circular cross sections. We light cylindrical cigarettes with matches torn from rectangular packs, and we pay the rectangular bill with rectangular bank notes and circular coins.

Even our games combine the orthogonal and the round. Most outdoor sports are played with spherical balls on rectangular fields. Indoor games, from pool to checkers, are similar combinations of the round and the rectangular. Rectangular playing cards are held in a fan-like circular array. The very letters on this rectangular page are patchworks of right angles and circular arcs. Wherever one looks the scene swarms with squares and circles and their affinely stretched forms: rectangles and ellipses. (In a sense the ellipse is more common than the circle, because every circle appears elliptical when seen from an angle.) 

The superellipse was named by the Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein though he did not discover it as it is sometimes claimed. In 1959, city planners in Stockholm, Sweden announced a design challenge for a roundabout in their city square Sergels Torg. Piet Hein's winning proposal was based on a superellipse with n = 2.5 and a/b = 6/5. As he explained it:

Man is the animal that draws lines which he himself then stumbles over. In the whole pattern of civilization there have been two tendencies, one toward straight lines and rectangular patterns and one toward circular lines. There are reasons, mechanical and psychological, for both tendencies. Things made with straight lines fit well together and save space. And we can move easily, physically or mentally, around things made with round lines. But we are in a straitjacket, having to accept one or the other, when often some intermediate form would be better. To draw something freehand, such as the patchwork traffic circle they tried in Stockholm, will not do. It isn't fixed, isn't definite like a circle or square. You don't know what it is. It isn't esthetically satisfying. The super-ellipse solved the problem. It is neither round nor rectangular, but in between. Yet it is fixed, it is definite, it has a unity.

The Sergels Torg roundabout was completed in 1967. Meanwhile, Piet Hein went on to use the superellipse in other artifacts, such as beds, dishes, tables, etc. By rotating a superellipse around the longest axis, Piet Hein created the superegg, a special case of superellipsoid that was marketed as a novelty toy. Unlike an elongated ellipsoid, an elongated superegg can stand upright on a flat surface, or on top of another superegg. This is due to its curvature being zero at the tips.

A 1-ton superegg made of steel and aluminium was placed outside Kelvin Hall in Glasgow in 1971, on occasion of a lecture by Piet Hein.