Thursday, June 11, 2015 JAZZ Musician/Composer/Bandleader/Recording Artist ORNETTE COLEMAN passed away due to Cardiac Arrest at his home in NEW YORK CITY at the age of 85.
He was born RANDOLPH DENARD ORNETTE COLEMAN on March 9, 1930, in FORT WORTH, TX, to Mr. and Mrs. Randolph and Rosa Coleman. His father passed away when he was only 7 years old.
The NEWS & OBSERVER reports in 1940, he heard Sonny Strain’s Sultans of Swing perform at George Washington Carver Elementary School and as he watched the musicians with their instruments, everything changed.
ORNETTE COLEMAN said;
“I asked [Strain] what it was. He said it was a saxophone. I thought it was a toy. I went home and told my mother I would really like to have one. She said, ‘You can, if you work and save some money.’ So I made me a shoeshine box and started shining shoes.”After he acquired his first saxophone, Coleman began performing with regularity around Fort Worth — his first steady gig was with a 50-piece group from the Greater St. James Baptist Church.
He also logged time in the I.M. Terrell High School band, although disciplinarian instructor G.A. Baxter frequently kicked Coleman out for putting a little too much swing in the John Philip Sousa marches.
ORNETTE COLEMAN began playing the saxophone at age 14.
He left Fort Worth the first time in 1949, first settling in New Orleans and later in Los Angeles. After a brief return home, he ventured out to Los Angeles again, where bassist and soon-to-be Coleman collaborator Charlie Haden first saw him perform.
CHARLIE HADEN said;
“He took out a plastic horn and started to play, and the whole room lit up for me. It was just like the heavens opened up for me.”
WSJ reports free approach became problematic, particularly in Los Angeles, one of the most competitive recording markets in the country at the time. Instead of conforming to the technical principles of commercial jazz, Coleman was more inspired to explore abstraction. As a result, his notes tended to sound sour, or off-key, while his music came across to some as frantic and aimless—more wailing than swinging. At some clubs, musicians packed up their instruments and walked out.
In truth, Coleman knew exactly what he was doing and, as many peers soon found out, the so-called free music he was playing wasn’t easy to duplicate with sophistication.
Legendary Tenor Saxophonist SONNY ROLLINS said;
"When I went to Los Angeles in early 1957, Ornette and I used to practice on the beach. Ornette was authentic. He wasn’t just jumping into improvisation.
ORNETTE COLEMAN once said;
“I didn’t think what I was doing was so unique,” Coleman told the Star-Telegram in 2003. “It’s only to share and grow. Knowledge is useless unless you share it.”
In 1983, Coleman defined HARMOLODICS;
“The use of the physical and the mental of one’s own logic made into an expression of sound to bring about the musical sensation of unison executed by a single person or with a group. ... Harmony, melody, speed, rhythm, time and phrases all have equal position in the results that come from the placing and spacing of ideas.”His final hometown appearance was the 1983 grand opening of the now shuttered but still missed jazz club Caravan of Dreams — his performance of Skies Over America with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. As recently as 2010, Coleman, seconded by his associates, said he would love to return and perform in his hometown, but nothing was ever scheduled.
In 2007, he was received the 2007 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT GRAMMY AWARD and the 2007 PULITZER PRIZE: MUSIC - JAZZ.
Of winning the PULITZER PRIZE, he said;
“I was shocked to realize that I have actually made logic into something that has meaning, which I call music."His music had a profound impact on JOHN COLTRANE, MILES DAVIS, SONNY ROLLINS, and other avant-garde jazz artists in the 1960s who were looking for ways to break free from the confines of previous jazz styles and express themselves more fully and emotionally.
In the decades that followed, Coleman recorded every few years. In 2010, an ailing ORNETTE COLEMAN appeared on stage at the Beacon Theatre as a surprise guest at an 80th birthday concert by SONNY ROLLINS. COLEMAN and ROLLINS traded solos.
SONNY ROLLINS said;
“Ornette was adventurous. It takes enormous courage to play music that many people might not like and to stick with it, no matter what. In this regard, Ornette made a great contribution that freed a lot of artists to go further and look deeper inside themselves.”We offer PRAYERS, LOVE, BLESSINGS, And HUGS to the surviving family of Mr. ORNETTE COLEMAN.
HAPPY ORNETTE COLEMAN SUNDAY MORNING JAZZ In The AFTERNOON!!!
PEACE. LOVE, And SUNDAY MORNING JAZZY BLESSINGS;