On Wednesday, March 9th, WKCR 89.9 FM will dedicate a full day of programming to celebrate the birthday of Ornette Coleman, legendary founder of free jazz, who passed away last summer.
Ornette Coleman (b. March 9, 1930) pursued the untouched horizons in music since the beginning of his career. Emerging from the Texas blues tradition, Coleman took L.A. and then New York City by storm with his visionary quartet in the late 1950s. His revolutionary concept placed melody, not harmony, at the center of improvisation. He played music that left chord changes behind, improvising harmony in real time, opening the way for the free jazz innovators of the next few decades. Coleman continued to play in his piano-less quartet through the early sixties, and then he moved to a trio playing violin and trumpet in addition to his customary saxophone. The seventies and eighties brought even newer sounds with his explorations of electric instrumentation and amplification, as well as compositions for orchestra. Coleman won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 record Sound Grammar. We mourn the loss of this star in jazz history who left us last summer at the age of 85 here in NYC.
Tune in to WKCR 89.9 FM and join as we celebrate innovation, relentless individualism, and commitment to artistic freedom. LISTEN!