Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ornette Among The Guns

In the 50 years since he scaled stylistic barricades at New York City's Five Spot it's unlikely that Ornette Coleman has ever played a gig in as bizarre a setting as he'll find himself in on July 11. As one of about 2,000 performers at this year's Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, Coleman and his quartet will perform flanked by tanks, army trucks, artillery pieces and armoured personnel carriers inside a glass-walled display area of the Canadian War Museum. The LeBreton Gallery—the "military technology" wing of the museum—has a distinct aroma of cordite and engine grease and is usually the site of military band performances.

But, who knows, maybe Ornette will dig the silver jet that's poised for takeoff.


Alayne McGregor said...

I'd be curious to hear from the brass brands how well people heard them in that space.

You've got concrete floors, glass & concrete walls, and lots of pieces metallic military machinery -- and nothing sound-absorbing. Seems to me that the echoes from all that should be very odd -- and hard to compensate for in order to get clear sound.

I hope I'm wrong, but this does seem like an odd place for music that you want to closely listen to.

James Hale said...

Well, Bluesfest has never cared too much about sound quality. After all, last year they put Dweezil Zappa — an exceptionally loud show — on the stage next to Richard Thompson's solo acoustic set. Shameful!