Saturday, 18 February 2012

Surprise Songs

Lonely Woman - Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come

I'm not surprised that this opening track on Coleman's iconic album is superb: I'm surprised because I have heard for the first time the melodic line that forms the saxophone solo in the Manfred Mann Chapter III track Konekuf. I had never made the connection, loving the MM cut and not really knowing Lonely Woman. So is it a simple rip-off? Homage? I couldn't find any references and/or explanations online, but I did get another surprise, which may or may not be accurate, when I read that Konekuf spelt backwards was Mann's caustic comment on racial attitudes and policies at the time - and for those of you who don't get it because of your age, it alludes to the Conservative MP and racist Enoch Powell and, presumably, his infamous rivers of blood tirade.

Incredible how I will now listen to a song I have known and loved for over 40 years with an entirely new set of markers. More shock than surprise really.

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