Ornette Coleman, the legendary alto saxophonist and famed “free jazz” innovator, died at the age of 85 in Manhattan this morning, according to The New York Times. The jazz player and composer suffered from a cardiac arrest.
Coleman leaves behind a rarely-paralleled legacy in jazz music as one of the main figures responsible for upheaving tradition in the 1950s and ’60s and brought the “free jazz” label into the mainstream with his album of the same name released in 1961. Experimental and avant-garde throughout much of his 57-year career, Coleman was born in Texas in 1930.
Listen to one of Coleman’s most famous compositions, “Una Muy Bonita,” which appeared on his 1960 release Change of the Century, below.
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