Friday, June 12, 2015

Ornette Coleman, Composer and Saxophonist Who Rewrote the Language of Jazz, Dies at 85

Ornette Coleman performing at the Village Vanguard in 1961. CreditSam Falk/The New York Times
Ornette Coleman, the alto saxophonist and composer who was one of the most powerful and contentious innovators in the history of jazz, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 85.
The cause was cardiac arrest, a family representative said.
Mr. Coleman widened the options in jazz and helped change its course. Partly through his example in the late 1950s and early 60s, jazz became less beholden to the rules of harmony and rhythm while gaining more distance from the American songbook repertoire. more