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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pink Filth - Seventeen Bubblegum Smashes! – Um. This is not Pink Floyd, it is Pink Filth. The name is not only a clever pun to fool high school stoners into buying the album (if they could find it in any store on this planet) but it also is a...  (1999) » Read more

Ahleuchatistas - Even in the Midst – Maybe I'm just imagining it, but I swear this time out Ahleuchatistas are sounding more accessible than ever. Still crazy as hell, but maybe a little less abrasive. Or maybe I'm getting used...  (2008) » Read more

Tabula Rasa - Ekkedien Tanssi – Ekkedien Tanssi was the second album by this Finnish five-piece who created a type of mellow, melodic prog not unlike the music of Camel. Indeed, this album is comparable in both style and quality to...  (1994) » Read more

Hawkwind - Golden Void 1969-1979 – Hey look, it's another Hawkwind compilation! I hope they got paid for this one. For your information, the band is as unhappy as the fans about the crop of Hawkwind reissue albums that pop up,...  (1999) » Read more

Sviraj - Ciganine – Omnium’s primary mission is releasing “folk music that rocks,” and they turn slightly aside from that with this disc. Though Sviraj (pronounced “svee-rye”) have energy to...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues