Jazz innovator Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman

March 9, 1930, Fort Worth, TX ~ June 11, 2015, Manhattan, NY

“The first time I saw a guy play a saxophone, I didn't know what it was. And someone told me it was a saxophone. So I asked my mother, and she told me that if I go out and make money I could buy myself one. So I made a shoeshine box and went on the streets smelling feet. Until one day she told me ‘Look under the bed.’ It took three or four years and I took it out and played it.” ~ Ornette Coleman

Mr. Coleman widened the options in jazz, and helped change its course. Partly through his example in the late 1950s and early ’60s, jazz became less beholden to the rules of harmony and rhythm, and gained more distance from the American songbook repertory. His own music, then and later, became a new form of highly informed folk song: deceptively simple melodies for small groups with an intuitive, collective language, and a strategy for playing without preconceived chord sequences. ~ New York Times: Ornette Coleman Obituary ~ June 11, 2015 © New York Times

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June 11, 1966 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) Simon & Garfunkel, I Am A Rock ~ #2 (4) the Lovin' Spoonful, Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? ~ #1 (3) the Rolling Stones, Paint It Black


Coleman intended Free Jazz simply to be the album title, but his growing reputation placed him at the forefront of jazz innovation, and free jazz was soon considered a new genre, though Coleman has expressed discomfort with the term. ~ Wikipedia: Ornette Coleman ~ retrieved June 3, 2013 © Wikipedia

Ornette Coleman ~ Awarded a 1984 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters Fellowship.

Ornette Coleman ~ Free Jazz (1960) ~ Ranked #19 Jazzwise 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World in 2006 ~ This one turned everyone around. ~ 2006 © Jazzwise

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