Thursday, March 02, 2006

The right stuff

I always thought "The Right Stuff," book and movie, were cool because it gave the pre-astronaut rocket pilots like Chuck Yeager, who stuck their necks out and probed the boundaries of space in relative obscurity, their due. Not that I'm not a fan of John Glenn and, later, Neil Armstrong, et al. As a space program junkie, I am. But credit where credit is due.

I'm a fan of Ornette Coleman as well, avant-garde Coltrane, Archie Shepp and my man Albert Ayler. But listening again to Sonny Rollins' "Freedom Suite" this evening reminds me that Mr. Rollins was pushing the outside of the envelope in the '50s, well before anybody talked about "free" jazz. Talk about your righteous stuff.

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