On film, at least, Ornette Coleman is returning to Fort Worth for the first time in decades.
As part of this year's Lone Star Film Festival, Ornette: Made in America, director Shirley Clarke's avant-garde biography of the Fort Worth native and groundbreaking jazz icon, will screen at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at the AMC Palace 9 theater downtown.
The 1985 film, which was recently remastered and has been making the festival rounds, chronicles the 1983 grand opening of the now-closed Caravan of Dreams and the premiere of Coleman's orchestral piece Skies Over America, which featured the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (it also marks the last time, to date, that Coleman performed live in his hometown).
According to local bassist and composer Paul Unger, who helped secure the festival screening, "there will be a few musicians performing ... Coleman's music in the theater" prior to the screening.
Also preceding the film will be the Erik Clapp-directed The Story of Jerome, a five-minute documentary and the first installment of a 10-part series, produced by Unger and members of the FWSO.
But don't make tracks for the exit after the conclusion of Made in America.
"After the screening, the musicians of the FWSO will lead a discussion of Ornette, his music and musical life in Fort Worth, with drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, Marjorie Crenshaw and some musicians from the FWSO who played with Ornette at the concert that is depicted in the film," Unger says.
For fans of Coleman's music and legacy as a Fort Worthian, this screening is an absolute can't-miss.
Get more info at lonestarfilmsociety.com.
The return of Oh Whitney
Fresh off a recent gig at the Lone Star Film Festival, Fort Worth-tied foursome Oh Whitney will play the Prophet Bar in Deep Ellum on Friday, showcasing material from its forthcoming album, which was produced by Rick Shlosser (ex- Van Morrison and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) and -- impressively -- Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame.
Vocalist/guitarist Peter More, who hails from this neck of the woods, says Oh Whitney spent the end of last year rehearsing in Bahia, Brazil, "assimilating our new Spanish flamenco guitarist and Mexican bassist into the group."
The as-yet-untitled album is being considered for release in March, and Oh Whitney, now based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (where the new LP was recorded), will spend much of November touring the States.
The quartet returns to North Texas at month's end, with shows scheduled Nov. 21 at Club Dada and Nov. 22 at Lola's Saloon (they'll be supported on both dates by Fort Worth-via-Austin's the Frontier Brothers).
Get more info at ohwhitney.com.
Preston Jones is the Star-Telegram pop music critic, 817-390-7713