Skies Of America

Label
Columbia/Legacy
Release date
2 May 2000
Running length
42 tracks
Running time
72:03

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Skies Of America 2:48 44
1 Ornette Coleman - Skies of America 2:48 1,938
2 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Native Americans 1:10 44
2 Ornette Coleman - Native Americans 1:10 1,753
3 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - The Good Life 1:33 80
3 Ornette Coleman - Good Life 0:00 14
4 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Birthdays And Funerals 3:12 37
4 Ornette Coleman - Birthdays and Funerals 3:12 1,644
5 London Symphony Orchestra;Ornette Coleman - Dreams 0:51 9
5 Ornette Coleman - Dreams 0:51 1,555
6 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Sounds Of Sculpture 1:19 27
6 Ornette Coleman - Sounds of Sculpture 1:19 1,579
7 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Holiday For Heroes 1:09 31
7 Ornette Coleman - Holiday for Heroes 1:09 1,521
8 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - All Of My Life 3:07 28
8 Ornette Coleman - All of My Life 3:07 1,485
9 Ornette Coleman - Dancers 1:17 1,439
9 London Symphony Orchestra;Ornette Coleman - Dancers 1:17 8
10 Ornette Coleman - Soul Within Woman 0:00 9
10 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - The Soul Within Woman 0:47 32
11 Ornette Coleman - Artists in America 0:00 8
11 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - The Artist In America 3:53 35
12 Ornette Coleman - New Anthem 0:00 10
12 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - The New Anthem 0:31 29
13 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Place In Space 2:43 30
13 Ornette Coleman - Place in Space 2:43 1,413
14 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Foreigner In A Free Land 1:19 30
14 Ornette Coleman - Foreigner in a Free Land 1:19 1,271
15 Ornette Coleman - Silver Screen 1:10 1,352
15 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Silver Screen 1:10 25
16 London Symphony Orchestra;Ornette Coleman - Poetry 1:15 7
16 Ornette Coleman - Poetry 1:15 1,355
17 Ornette Coleman - Men Who Live in the White House 0:00 8
17 London Symphony Orchestra;Ornette Coleman - The Men Who Live In The White House 2:47 10
18 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Love Life 4:33 28
18 Ornette Coleman - Love Life 4:33 1,320
19 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - The Military 0:32 28
19 Ornette Coleman - Military 0:00 11
20 Ornette Coleman - Jam Session 0:39 1,343
20 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Jam Session 0:39 29
21 Ornette Coleman;London Symphony Orchestra - Sunday In America 4:28 26
21 Ornette Coleman - Sunday in America 4:28 1,288

About this album

Review by Thom Jurek

Here’s what is known about Ornette Coleman’s first recorded orchestral symphonic work (he had written others previously and had them performed but never put on tape): After hiring conductor David Measham and the London Symphony Orchestra, British musicians’ union rules prohibited Coleman from using his own quartet to play on the record. As a result, he had to re-examine the work without the concerto grosso form and, to fit the work on a single LP, he had to cut many of the recurrent themes of the work. It is also known that the recording quality isn’t the greatest. So what? The bottom line is this: In the 21st century, Skies of America, which was Ornette’s first attempt at employing his newly developed harmolodic theory (whereby using modulation many players could solo at once using different keys), still sounds ahead of its time. Though there are 21 bands marked on the cover, this is a single unbroken work with many of the themes recurring — either in that they had long been present in Ornette’s musical iconography, or would become so. (Check the theme in “The Good Life,” as it evolved from “School Work” from 1962 and became “Dancing in Your Head” in the late ’70s.) Coleman himself solos beautifully in the middle of the disc, from “The Artist in America” on and off until the work’s end with “Sunday in America.” This is loaded music: politically, emotionally, and also spiritually.

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