‘I listened to him all kinds of ways. I listened to him high and I listened to him cold sober. I even played with him. I think he’s jiving, baby. He’s putting everybody on. They start with a nice lead-off figure, but then they go off into outer space. They disregard the chords and they play odd numbers of bars. I can’t follow them.’ Roy Eldridge

‘I think he has a gang of potential . . . but he’s not all they say he is right now.’ Thelonious Monk

‘Those musicians were standing at the bar scared to death Ornette was going to be the thing and that they couldn’t make it. . . This is just the beginning of something. Something wonderful is going to happen with that guy. He’s going to shake up jazz a lot more than he has.’

Buell Neidlinger (bassist with Cecil Taylor)

‘. . . . Anyway, the people seemed to like my music. We never did have a night at the Five Spot with a cold audience.’ Ornette Coleman