October 30, 2003

I hate that I need air to breathe/I'd like to leave this body and be free

From an article on Lou Reed published earlier this year in the wire:

"Reed's affinity for Ornette Coleman's harmolodic jazz also goes back to his college days. Back in the early 60s, Reed named the college literary journal he edited Lonely Woman Quarterly, after the track from Coleman's 1959 LP The Shape Of Jazz To Come. On The Raven, he finally got to work with the veteran saxophonist. 'I used to follow Ornette around in the 60s,' he admits. 'I couldn't afford to get into the clubs he played, but I would listen through the grating to him when he was with Billy Higgins, Charlie Haden and Don Cherry. And then I wanted to play guitar like him, after I heard Free Jazz - wow. If you asked me my favourite song I'd have to say 'Lonely Woman', because probably not a day goes by I don't hear that in my head. So finally working with Ornette was a big deal. I'd love to put out an album of the seven versions [of the R&B-inflected 'Guilty'] he did. 'This one's with the drums, this one's with the guitar, this is with your voice, this is with the bass, this with the other guitar, this is with everybody.' The version we picked was a more accessible version. It was neck and neck with another version that Willner called the 'clear the room version': only true believers will stay for this. It was easy for him to do it. Easy. I was in tears. People were saying it's a bitch of a key for a sax player - not for Ornette it wasn't. For him it was nothing.'"

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