On Saturday, June 27, at 11am, I’ll be at Manhattan’s Riverside Church for a funeral to celebrate the life, mourn the loss and revel in the spirit of Ornette Coleman.
Coleman, who died at 85 on June 11, delivered on the promise of the title to his 1959 album, “The Shape of Jazz to Come.” The flow of jazz ever since in fact has been redirected, its course widened and altered.
Yet Coleman gave us no template or mold. Rather, he offered liberation from these things while suggesting—no proving—that such freedom did not mean forfeiture of aesthetic purpose or historical grounding. No one has or likely will make music quite like his, but few serious and searching jazz musicians have ignored the possibilities suggested by the doors he blew open. Continue reading “The Puzzle Ornette Coleman Left Us”