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

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Agitation Free - Fragments – [Musique Intemporelle edition from 1995] Agitation Free are one of Germany's finest space rock groups, an outfit that launched the careers of many respected musicians like Michael Hoenig, Lutz...  (1996) » Read more

Strawbs - The Broken Hearted Bride – Over the last ten years or so, Strawbs have toured and recorded in various configurations, from a three-piece acoustic trio to a fully amplified five-piece electric band. The Broken Hearted Bride...  (2008) » Read more

Sadhappy - Outerspaces – Sadhappy hasn’t been heard around these parts for quite some time. Work on the group’s second CD stalled while searching for a replacement to Paul Hinklin, who became ill and...  (2006) » Read more

Niagara - S.U.B. – Niagara were an early 70s German jazz rock outfit that released three albums of heavily percussion-oriented music. In fact, on this, their second album there are often four percussionists playing at...  (1995) » Read more

STS - Système Solaire – Jannick is back... The monstrous and legendary bassist of the 1973, 1974 and 1976 Magmas issues his first solo effort, after years of session-work with variety singers and composing film scores. His...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues