Recorded at The Power Station, New York, New York (1985).
The combination of the popular mainstream jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and pioneering free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman may seem an odd one. However, their collaboration SONG X reflects their mutual admiration and shared sense of adventure. Fans of Metheny's contemporary jazz may find some aspects of this session hard to swallow. Coleman's followers, however, will feel right at home with the jarring dissonance and dense textures. Joining the pair are the equally adventurous drummer Jack DeJohnette, along with Coleman's drumming son Denardo, and the bassist from his original quartet, Charlie Haden.
Things are blazing right from the start as the frenetic title track explodes with a miasma of lightning-speed ensemble free improvisation. The music gets even more chaotic with the bizarre "Endangered Species," a 13-minute collage of churning freedom with dense thrashes of noise and a hurricane of percussion. However, all works are not so brash; the delicate ballad "Kathelin Gray" displays a softer side with deeply emotive work by Coleman and Metheny. Shades of bebop are also present in the swinging "Trigonometry." In all, listeners will find a new side to both of these astounding artists who obviously have many dimensions to their art.