Ornette Coleman, Jazz Legend, Dies at 85

Ornette Coleman, Jazz Legend, Dies at 85

Coleman passed away Thursday morning in Manhattan.

Published June 11, 2015

Saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman died Thursday morning in Manhattan, where he lived. He was 85.

Coleman, who is best known as an innovator in the history of jazz, helped expand the genre in the 1950s and 1960s. He changed the course of jazz by unveiling his free form direction, which broke the rules of harmony and rhythm. As The New York Times writes, “His own music, then and later, became a new form of highly informed folk song: deceptively simple melodies for small groups with an intuitive, collective language, and a strategy for playing without preconceived chord sequences.”

According to a representative of the family, Coleman died of cardiac arrest.

In 2007, Coleman’s Sound Grammar won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

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(Photo: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Written by Eric Diep

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