New York jazz legend Ornette Coleman, who was the most influential musician in modern jazz, passed away at the age of 85. The famous saxophonist was born in Texas but made his name in The Big Apple.
New York jazz legend, Ornette Coleman, who was the most influential musician in modern jazz, passed away at the age of 85.
The famous saxophonist was born in Texas but made his name in The Big Apple. Coleman started his career in the 1950s, but later changed the style and pioneered so-called free jazz, who appeared to be really unconventional that time.
The Shape of Jazz, the album he released in 1959, became one of the most influential records in the history of jazz.
Ornette Coleman suffered a cardiac arrest and died on Thursday morning, according to his publicist Ken Weinstein.
Coleman together with another famous jazz performer John Coltrane, who was also his fellow saxophonist, broke down the traditional structures of jazz. They both created the very new and more free-flowing form of jazz expression.
Despite critics’ pranks, their idea of improvising without chord changes as chaotic became one of the most influential and fundamental not only in jazz but in rock as well.
In 2007 he got a Pulitzer Prize for Music and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ornette Coleman was born in a ‘so po’ Texas family that his parent couldn’t afford neither ‘o’ nor ‘p’ as he once stated. At 14 he bought his first cheap saxophone and worked very hard, performing in different local rhythm and blues bands. Later he moved to LA, where in 1958 some of his compositions had been bought by Contemporary Records. But their musicians appeared to be unable to perform those songs, so Coleman was hired and had his first album released.
Atlantic Records signed him a year later, so he moved then to NY. In 1959 there was released his famous The Shape of Jazz to Come. That album was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at number 248 on its list of the 500 greatest albums.
He was married for 10 years with poet Jayne Cortez, but later they got divorced. His son Denardo became a well-known drummer and producer. He began performing with his father at the age of 10.