Originally issued in 1961 on Atlantic, ORNETTE! (recorded shortly after his revolutionary, then-controversial album FREE JAZZ) finds Coleman and company at the peak of their powers during this early phase of his career. Coleman vets trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell are on board -- both would continue playing with Coleman off and on for the rest of their careers -- but the wild card here is the legendary bassist Scott LaFaro, who earned his reputation with the equally innovative (albeit much quieter) Bill Evans Trio, here taking the place of Coleman's then-regular bassist Charlie Haden. LaFaro's style is more hard-driving (in the traditional, hard-bop/swing sense) than Haden's warm, big-buoyant approach, inspiring all to feverish heights. Though considered very "avant-garde" at the time, Coleman's solos sear & crackle with the essence of the blues, full of manic yet focused Cold War-era energy. Cherry plays with a brassy, rippling tone, and Blackwell's crisp, propulsive drumming is rich with rhythmic echoes of New Orleans and the Caribbean. Unpredictable, vibrant and shatteringly immediate, ORNETTE! is a classic in Coleman's recorded canon...& as a CD Revolution-era extra added attraction, there's a previously unreleased tune, the enigmatic "Proof Readers."