Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion featuring Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Al MacDowell, Charlie Ellerbe, Badal Roy, Denardo Coleman with Special Guests David Murray, Wallace Roney & Marc Ribot
The creative genius, humanity and many contributions of Ornette Coleman, innovative jazz composer and musician, will be celebrated at this year’s HSB with Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion. This reunion of Prime Time, Ornette’s groundbreaking, double electric quartet, has been curated by Denardo Coleman, bandleader, drummer, manager and son of Ornette and includes original members Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Al MacDowell on bass, Charlie Ellerbe on guitar, Badal Roy on tabla and Denardo Coleman on drums. Appearing as special guests with the Prime Time Band Reunion will be David Murray on tenor sax, Wallace Roney on trumpet and Marc Ribot on guitar. This is a rare opportunity to hear Ornette’s Harmolodic compositions performed by the musicians who worked with him to help him fully realize his musical vision.
Jamaaladeen Tacuma became the first bassist in Ornette Coleman’s electric band Prime Time after his innovative style caught Coleman’s ear; he toured and recorded with them in the 1970s and ’80s. He debuted as a bandleader, composer, and arranger in 1983 with the album Showstopper, going on to develop compositions blending Prime Time’s elaborate harmonies with engaging melodies. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Al MacDowell is best known for his four-decade journey as bassist with Ornette Coleman. On a 1975 visit to New York’s famous High School of Music and Art, Coleman heard 17-year-old student MacDowell play bass and, impressed, invited him to join Prime Time as an exponent of Coleman’s Harmolodics style. Today, he continues to play harmolodic jazz as leader of the Just Ornette Quartet. In addition to Coleman, he has worked with everyone from punk-jazz icon James Chance to hip-hop legend Public Enemy. He is also a songwriter, as shown by his compositions on the latest studio album by the City Boys All-Stars. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Charlie Ellerbe, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, first became interested in guitar at age 15 after hearing Arnold Langley. He was soon playing with the soul group the Ambassadors when he met guitarist Norman Harris at the Uptown Theater. He attended Combs College to study composition and arranging. A few years later in New York, he auditioned for Ornette Coleman and was soon off to France to perform with Prime Time, which was the beginning of nearly 15 years of further musical education under Coleman. He was in Prime Time from 1975 to 1989. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Badal Roy arrived in New York in 1968 with a pair of tablas and eight dollars in his pocket. His passionate style of playing is free-flowing and always from the heart, and when Miles Davis heard him play, the superstar warmed to him and spread the word. Today he is the foremost exponent of tablas in jazz music. He has been an integral part of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time since 1988 and is presently collaborating with Brazil’s Duofel, an instrumental guitar duo. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Denardo Coleman made his debut on drums at the age of 10 on The Empty Foxhole, an album with his father, Ornette Coleman, and Charlie Haden, released on Blue Note in 1966. He began touring with his father by the mid-1980s, and he also became his manager. Denardo went on to produce several Ornette Coleman recordings, including the historical double recording In All Languages (1987) featuring Prime Time along with Ornette’s groundbreaking original quartet with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Billy Higgins. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
David Murray has recorded 130 albums and performed as guest artist on around 100 more. Born in Oakland, he grew up in Berkeley and studied with his mother, organist Catherine Murray. In 1976, after a first European tour, he organized the World Saxophone Quartet with Oliver Lake, Hamiett Bluiett, and Julius Hemphill. He also worked with the Urban Bust Women dance company, Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, and Bob Thiele, founder of Impulse and Red Baron Records. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Wallace Roney began musical studies at age 5; he was the youngest member of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble, comprising members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. At 16 he met Dizzy Gillespie, who taught him techniques that enhanced his ability to play intricate improvisational phrases. In 1983 he met his greatest influence, teacher, and idol, Miles Davis, and played the historic “Miles at Montreux” concert. Roney then met Ornette Coleman and played with Ornette’s Classic Quartet. Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.
Marc Ribot, who the New York Times describes as “a deceptively articulate artist who uses inarticulateness as an expressive device,” has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 30-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez. Marc works regularly with Grammy Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett and New York composer John Zorn. He has also composed and performed on numerous film scores such as “Walk the Line,” “The Kids Are All Right,” and “The Departed.” Appearing as part of Ornette’s Prime Time Band Reunion.