Paul Sikivie on bass and Ulysses Owens on drums were swinging, always listening, and willing to stretch.
The gig was called “Inspired by Ornette,” and was less a tribute and more an expression of respect and inspiration for this iconic alto player's music. Although we did touch on some of Ornette’s originals, we played mostly music written by myself, as well as compositions by Frank Kimbrough and Sherman Irby. Several pieces I wrote for a film by Douglas Chang, in which I play a character loosely based on Ornette. The film is called “Chaography: Variations on the Theme of Freedom,” and will be in production for a while.
In anticipation of this gig at The Kitano, I wrote a couple new pieces. We had a rehearsal a couple days before, and just as we were finishing I realized I had completely forgotten to bring the new music, so we ended up basically sight-reading them on the bandstand. In retrospect, it was probably fortunate it happened this way, because we didn’t have a chance to preconceive any ideas as to form, solos, endings, etc., and it heightened our awareness, putting us on edge, in the most positive sense.
I plan to record this music soon for a release sometime in the spring, so look out!