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
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more