Ornette Coleman

1 minute read

Ornette coleman was the face of the avant-garde jazz movement from the late 1950s through the ’60s. Then he ascended to legendary status.

The first time I heard one of Ornette’s records was in 1959, The Shape of Jazz to Come. It was so cutting-edge at the time, the context was so different, that I heard it as weird. But within it were beautiful melodies, interesting bass lines, certainly a tinge of the blues. To me, that album is a cornerstone for the avant-garde movement.

Within a couple of years, the avant-garde started to influence John Coltrane and the Miles Davis band that I belonged to. Ornette was at the heart of that. He was a seeker–he was always searching for something new that satisfied his own sense of creativity.

And he shared it all with his audience.


Hancock is an award-winning jazz musician

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