Ornette Coleman

Keep Blowing

Keep Blowing

Senior Member
Commercial Café Supporter
Bottesford England
So I'm older than many and now that I think of it, no one under 70 has probably heard that word. I tried to find references online and will try again, not that I am on a laptop, but for now I can only develop this insufficiently. There was an expression "shucking and jiving", whose origin is shamefully rooted in the era of legal slavery in America. I think it referred to shucking corn, but I have heard it used for oysters and I think it's still the correct term. I didn't know that until yesterday. Jiving came to mean kidding, and people in the sixties would say "I ain't jivin', man!".

The meaning of shucking I referenced is pretending to play something valid and "heavy" while actually playing random crap. In other words, not being connected to the music. When Miles first left the bob style he was brought up in (and let's not forget he went to Juillard and came from a wealthy family), he was accused by some jealous musicians of not really playing, but posturing. So I guess a simple definition of shucking is "Pretending to play with authority and depth while actually just screwing around with no logic or thought."

The point being that some, when they don't "hear it", think it's just B.S., rather than realising that they just don't hear it.

See also: Scars of Sweet Paradise
and this excerpt from Google Books.

View attachment 13134
Thanks for that, I have no theoretical music education, so as to whether he was a shucker I don't know. (but I doubt it very much). To me he was a master of creating a mood and taking the listener on an incredible journey, he certainly had no problem attracting other great musicians, so you can presume they held him in high esteem,.


18 months of alto
@Pete Thomas yes, that is the origin, and now oysters I think.

@Keep Blowing no question, Ornette wasn't nor was Miles shucking. Yet, a few very oddball musicians who should have known better used that word in the place of "I don't hear it."


Well-Known Member
there are people who think that technique is everything and are dismissive of anyone who doesn't play strictly according to the rules..

and there's a big difference between not liking something and it being rubbish.... but for some, their personal opinions are all that counts and they can't see beyond them

Ornette got castigated for not playing according to the rules of hard bop, although that didn't mean he was ignorant of them, he was well versed in the bebop vocabulary and could play all the Parker stuff, he just wanted to do something more personal than wear someone else's style
the nearest we can get to hearing him play bop is this

View: https://youtu.be/tNr3Nv5wflE
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