—01. Recorded on December 21, 1962.
An oft unappreciated or completely overlooked release in Ornette Coleman’s formidable and rewarding discography, his only album on the always impressive ESP-DISK’ label, and one that comes shortly after a complete overhaul of his classic quartet line-up. While the use of a string ensemble on ‘Dedication to Poets and Writers’ might not make much sense next to the rest of the material and could be skipped altogether, in my honest opinion, the highlight is really ‘The Ark’. Clocking in at just under 24 minutes, this composition stands out as ranking with some of Coleman’s most free and intuitive playing and further shows the incredible talents of his new band members at the time, bassist David Izenson and drummer Charles Moffett. Both of these talents would have a further opportunity to showcase their musical charisma with Coleman on his masterpiece live recordings, At the 'Golden Circle' Stockholm Vol. I and II, and their connection is readily apparent during the rewarding 24 minutes that close this release.