The Wine I Drank with Ornette Coleman

The photo above has four people in it. The big fella on the right is artist Michael Anderson. The fellow in the striped shirt in the middle is artist, publisher, filmmaker, and friend of mine, Noah Becker. The man on the left is jazz icon Ornette Coleman. At the time, he was probably the greatest living saxophone player in the world.

If you look closely, you can spot a Grammy Award in the background.

The fourth person in this photo is me. It is actually a still frame shot of a video I took of the three of them having a conversation at Mr. Coleman's apartment.

I didn't buy the wine, but if I did, it probably would have been the same. I just liked wine back then, plain and simple. It is a bottle of Ménage-à-Trois. We drank it and ate apples together.

Ornette pulled out his famous white saxophone. At one point, he put it around my neck, and said:

"Blow on it."

I had never held a saxophone in my life and I haven't held one since. I gave it a weak puff.

I said, "blow on it!" Mr. Coleman repeated emphatically.

I did. And the most awful, weak, and wretched sound came out of it.

He smiled. "Good, good."

I'll never forget drinking Ménage-à-Trois with Noah Becker, Michael Anderson, and Ornette Coleman.

I want to be like Ornette Coleman was to me to anyone who has never had a glass of wine in their hand.

If you think of any way that I could possibly improve at doing that, please let me know. You can email me directly at You won't be redirected to an automated service. You won't be ignored. It's me, Steven. I am the only one who has access to that email, and you'll be read and you will get a genuine response from me.

If you didn't drink wine, I wouldn't have anything to write about. Thank you.

37 views0 comments