Free Form & Abstract - Revisited
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Abstract is split over two dates some months apart, with some change of focus over the set. Free Form has more of the drama of a single creative moment. By some later standards, Harriott’s innovations might even seem cautious. On every track, at least one of the familiar parameters – tonality, regular rhythm, timbre – is retained as Harriott weighs anchor and pushes off into deeper waters.
This is exciting music as much for what it retains as what it rejects. The reading of Rollins’ famous Oleo on Abstract is probably the clearest expression of what is special and different about these records, but the opening “Subject” on the same album jumps straight into a sound-world which is both more alien and more traditional than anything Ornette ever dared.