Ornette’s Infiltration Into a High School Choir!

Greetings Good Folks, Ornette Coleman, free jazz, wicked warping melodic lines melting from a plastic saxophone, forging their way uprooted from the chord changes, what chord changes, beyond chord changes! Not the kind of mom and pop high school vocal choir song of choice for this modern age. Yet, it’s happened and it’s a hoot! Check it out…

A few years back I penned a lyric to Ornette’s 11 bar (blues are usually 12 bars in length) song called “Blues Connotation.” It feels like a blues but it takes a few swerves in the road. My lyric talks about the potential hazards of taking a guitar out into the world and plugging in, about shunning the old tradition, bucking the dead horse. “Free jazz, and play the blues the way you want.” I’m laughing!

Next, Lehua Pischke, a super cool vocal choir director from the Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington contacted me (not sure where she heard our version of the tune) and asked if her choir could sing it. Heck yes, bring it on, spread the good twisted news of Ornette into high schools throughout this wide nation.

A few months passed (they were rehearsing I’m guessing) and along comes this vid of the girls singing Ornette’s blues line. Life is amazing isn’t it?

YouTube vid of the girls singing "Blues Connotation"

YouTube vid of the girls singing “Blues Connotation”

Thanks Lehua and the kids, you’re amazing and you made my day!

For this week in live gigs, I’ll be hanging out at the Roxy two times and this makes me happy. First up, it’s a Thursday night solo excursion with me and the six strings leading the way. Come and enjoy the music and the great food.

Soloing in silhouette. photo by Thomas Westerlin

Soloing in silhouette.
photo by Thomas Westerlin

On Saturday night we’re getting my brother Tripp and his daughter Kate into the loop for a night of jazz and young Kate’s angle on music. She’s a gem and she’s got some new tunes lined up. Word on the street is it that our sister Terry might fall by with her cajon and add some percussive elements into the mix. Sprague Revolution meets downtown Encinitas all coming together at the Roxy. See you there!


That’s it and I’m flying in the saltwater as we speak, Peter