A collective improvisation
featuring Yoko Ono
and Ornette Coleman
's ensemble (Charlie Haden
, bass, Dr. David Izenzon, bass, Ed Blackwell
, drums; OC played trumpet, instead of his usual alto saxophone), recorded during a rehearsal for a 1968
concert. The improvisation
was directed by Ms. Ono's instructions:
"Think of the days when you allowed silences in your life for dreaming and thinking of dreaming. This is no shit. No 'mood' or whatever you call it. It's real. Four of you play like four cats used to chattering with each other. Forget about each other. Forget about what you have learnt or heard in the music academy world or the like."
The tape would remain in the vaults for about three decades.
From a 1997 interview:
Jody Denberg: What about the one piece on here with Ornette Coleman and his band, that didn't make it into Onobox so this is the first time we get that on CD as well. Was it just a space thing why it was left off of Onobox?
Yoko Ono: It's space and also -- yes, space because London Jam I think that I used the full 70 minutes or something like that on CD.
JD: Yeah, the CD was full. How did you wind up working with him and Charlie Haden and their band?
YO: I thought they were marvelous. In fact, you know, I want you guys to stop going to them and saying, "What was it like to perform with Yoko?" I understand they're sick and tired of it.
JD: I'll ask you: What was it like to work with Ornette Coleman?
YO: Ornette was already very, very established and famous and respected guy as a musician. And I met him in Paris. The way I met was, I was doing a show and after the show, somebody said, Oh, Ornette Coleman is here and he would like to -- okay. Well, hello. Thank you for coming. That kind of thing. And he was saying, Well, okay. So he said that he was going to go and do a concert in Albert Hall and would I come and do it with him because he thought it was kind of interesting what I do.
So that was London, Albert Hall. And I felt that I just kind of said good-bye to London at the time, for many reasons. But mainly because I met John. It had a lot to do with that. And I thought, Okay. I'll go back and do that because it sounds very special. So I went back to London just to do that, in a way, and also to see my daughter, who's still in London.
Very complex situation, I don't want to go into that. And Ornette's band of musicians were very, very kind to me. And we did a few rehearsals and all that, too. And it was great. It was a great experience.