Ornette on Tenor is just as challenging and harmonically advanced as any of his previous releases. In fact, it's arguably more so, since there aren't really any memorable themes to return to. That means there are fewer opportunities for Coleman and Don Cherry to interact and harmonize, which puts the focus mainly on Coleman's return to tenor playing. And, actually, it isn't tremendously different from his alto playing. There are a few traces of Coleman's early Texas gut bucket R&B days, plus a few spots where he explores a breathier tone, but for the most part his spiraling solo lines are very similar to his previous albums, and his upper-register sound is often a dead ringer for his plaintive alto cries.