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Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman

Biography

Ornette Coleman was a jazz renegade, a misfit who defiantly created his own approach to improvisation that demolished the rules of Bebop harmony. For Coleman, music was like talking; and a band was like a conversation. Each member of his piano-less quartet made spontaneous musical statements, directly responding to the other musicians. This complete freedom struck the jazz establishment as pure chaos, but Coleman's music was beautiful. His horn gave out poignant, lyrical shouts as well as lines that sounded like bebop refracted through a kaleidoscope. His compositions expressed delight, anguish and puckish humor, often within the same tune. In addition to brilliant quartet recordings, Coleman was known for experimenting. The revolutionary 1960 recording Free Jazz consisted of two quartets (each with two horns, bass and drums) improvising together all at once! In 1975, Coleman applied his musical revolution, called harmolodics,to a rock band, founding the group Prime Time.
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