The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field

David Lee

Published by Mercury Press
ISBN 10: 1551281236 / ISBN 13: 9781551281230
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Synopsis: The Battle of the Five Spot is an engaging look at a milestone in jazz history. In 1959, when the Texas-born saxophonist Ornette Coleman brought his quartet to New York's Five Spot Café, the music spurred a stormy controversy, and a struggle between old and new styles of jazz that has never quite subsided.

David Lee explores the debate around Coleman's innovation in terms of its relationships to social change and issues of power within arts communities, referring to such disparate sources as writer Norman Mailer (a Five Spot regular), composer Leonard Bernstein, (who leaped to his feet at the end of one Coleman set and declared that "this is the greatest thing that has ever happened in jazz") and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. The latter's theory of artistic "fields," in Lee's accomplished prose, becomes part of a unique, lively and deeply postmodern look at how and why the soft-spoken Coleman's exciting new music changed the way jazz was played, listened to and talked about.

About the Author: David Lee was born and raised in Mission, BC. Upon finishing English studies at UBC, he moved to Toronto where he worked for the jazz magazine Coda and with his wife, Maureen Cochrane, ran the publishing house Nightwood Editions.

He also studied double bass and became active in Toronto avant-garde theatre, dance and multi-media performances, as well as touring internationally and recording with the Bill Smith Ensemble. Lee's instrumental work can be heard on reissued Boxholder CDs with Leo Smith ("Rastafari") and Joe McPhee ("Visitation"), and on a recent Static Airport Records CD with Kenny Baldwin ("Row Boat to China").

Moving back to the west coast, he played in community bands, co-founded the Pender Harbour Jazz Festival, wrote a Vancouver Island guidebook, and co-authored Stopping Time, the autobiography of jazz pianist Paul Bley. David Lee received his MA in Music Criticism from McMaster University in 2004 and currently lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Title: The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman...
Publisher: Mercury Press
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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