Ornette Coleman interview: ‘All a human being can do is help his brother and sister’

Our colleague Steve Smith has unearthed a beautiful conversation he had with the late Ornette Coleman less than ten years ago. It’s all about the reasons Ornette makes music, the things that music can do.

‘I’ve been aware,’ he says, ‘that sound is the most healing quality of anything in human culture.’

Rest in peace, Ornette.

Read the full interview here.

ornette coleman, century

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  • I first met him on vinyl in the mid 60’s with the album recorded live at Stockholm’s Gyllene Cirkeln with the bass player David Izenzon and the drummer Charles Moffett – an explosion of mostly angry sound like nothing I had heard before. I met him in person in Birmingham (UK) after a marvellous Town Hall concert, and was shocked by his gentle, kindly demeanour, seemingly at odds with sounds erupting from his plastic horn. He signed my programme with ‘Stay Happy Always’ which, in some ways, summed up the musical giant that he became in the years that followed.

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