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Ornette Coleman (Composer)

Born: 9th March 1930, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A

Died: 11th June 2015, New York, U.S.A

Nationality: American

Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, and composer known as a principal founder of the free jazz genre, a term derived from his 1960 album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Coleman began his musical career playing in local R&B and bebop groups, and eventually formed his own group in Los Angeles featuring members such as Ed Blackwell, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Billy Higgins. In 1959, he released the controversial album The Shape of Jazz to Come and began a long residency at the Five Spot jazz club in New York City. His pioneering performances often dispensed with the chordal and harmony-based playing found in bebop, instead emphasizing a jarring and free approach to improvisation. In the 1970s, Coleman formed the group Prime Time and explored funk and his concept of Harmolodic music.

Coleman's "Broadway Blues" and "Lonely Woman" became genre standards and are cited as important early works in free jazz.

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