On March 9, 1930, Free Jazz was born. Or more specifically, legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman was born. Coleman revolutionized the world of jazz with his innovative approach to music and his groundbreaking contributions to the saxophone.
Coleman’s most important contribution to the saxophone was his development of the “free jazz” style. This approach to jazz music rejected traditional chord progressions and harmonic structures, allowing for a greater sense of improvisation and freedom in the music. Coleman’s unique sound and unconventional playing style, which often incorporated elements of blues and folk music, helped to define this new genre.
Throughout his career, Coleman continued to push the boundaries of what was possible on the saxophone, exploring new techniques and sounds. He was a true innovator, and his influence can still be felt in the world of jazz today.
In addition to his contributions to the saxophone, Coleman was also a gifted composer and bandleader. He formed his own group, the Ornette Coleman Quartet, in the late 1950s, and went on to record some of the most influential jazz albums of all time, including “The Shape of Jazz to Come” and “Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation.”
Happy birthday, Ornette Coleman!
Here’s Ornette Coleman and Charlie Haden playing Lonely Woman at the Royal Festival Hall in London, 2009.