Exposé Online banner

Ornette Coleman RIP

One of the great innovators of 20th Century music has died at the age of 85. Ornette Coleman revolutionized jazz during the 60s with his explorations of free expression, and has since that time been one of the great influences on musicians of all styles. The 85-year-old saxophone master died from a heart attack.

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-06-11

Ornette Coleman (born March 9, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas) was one of the great polarizing presences in music, reviled as widely as he was admired, especially in his early days and with his landmark albums The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959) and Free Jazz (1961), which were manifestos for those seeking to break the bonds of traditional musical rules.

From The Guardian:

His most enduring ambition was to imagine shared frameworks within which an impulsive and spontaneous music could emerge with the minimum of formality. From collaborations with symphony orchestras to dialogues with musicians and cultures far removed from jazz, his instantly recognisable themes retained that songlike forthrightness, and a childlike frankness and grace.

Far from just being an innovator in musical freedom, Coleman explored traditions from around the world, working with musicians from many different cultures as well as dancers, poets. He was also known to appear in such unlikely contexts as onstage with The Grateful Dead, Lou Reed, and many others.

In his later career, his eclectic Prime Time ensembles fused modern funk with avant-garde jazz to produce some of the most exciting music of the 80s.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): Ornette Coleman

More info
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jun/11/ornette-coleman

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Red Star Revolt - Red Star Revolt – Red Star Revolt is a power rock trio (Aaron Nava: vocals, bass, keyboards; Clutch: guitar, keyboards; and Dino Cuneo: drums, percussion) based in Denver, Colorado who came together in 2007. This...  (2009) » Read more

Nathan Mahl - Exodus – It’s been at least five years since Shadows Unbound, the band’s previous album; now Nathan Mahl returns with Exodus, a large-scale concept album – dare I say rock opera, based on the second book...  (2009) » Read more

Xaal - Seconde Ere – Finally, the long overdue second Xaal disc that almost never materialized, and were it not for the persistence of Bernard Gueffier and others at Musea, it could have remained in the vaults forever....  (1995) » Read more

Raoul Björkenheim / Krakatau - Ritual – Ah Krakatau's first album, another interesting choice by Steve Feigenbaum for reissue. Krakatau has resided in ECM's stable since their third album, and all are worth checking out. Raoul...  (1997) » Read more

Jan Akkerman - Pleasure Point, From the Basement & Heartware – Hux records, the offshoot of the extinct BBC archives label Windsong, has now branched off into re-master heaven with a series of 80s releases by ex-Focus master guitarist Jan Akkerman. With each disc...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues