Picks and Pans Review: Beauty Is a Rare Thing

updated 12/20/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/20/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ornette Coleman

The 57 tracks in this six-CD set, recorded between 1959 and 1961, comprise the Rosetta Stone of the free jazz revolution. More than 30 years after Coleman abandoned the chord-based harmonic changes of swing and bebop for a more open-ended approach to improvisation, his blues-inflected musings on sax sound as urgent and poignant as ever. "If you listen to it as natural music," he once said, "you hear the pure emotion." (Rhino)

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