Artist Profile

Ornette Coleman Profiled


One of those who pioneered his own style and sound — he began as a devotee of Parker’s “bebop” form — was Texan Ornette Coleman. Coleman, in the 1950s and 1960s, would expand the options in jazz and in the process change the course of the genre. His unique styling, which would come to be called “free jazz,” made the jazz variety less dependent on the rules of harmony and rhythm, which in turn allowed it to break away from the traditional repertoires it relied upon. His new “invention” made him one of the true jazz innovators, one whose sound was instantly recognizable and unquestionably unique.