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R.I.P. Ornette Coleman, jazz trailblazer has died at 85

on June 11, 2015, 10:53am

Jazz legend Ornette Coleman has died at the age of 85. The saxophonist and composer, whose credited for popularizing the “free jazz” movement, passed away Thursday from cardiac arrest.

Coleman remained a relevant force in jazz music for over 50 years. His early albums — including 1959’s The Shape of Jazz to Come and 1961’s Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation — remain influential works within the genre. Five decades later, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for 2005 LP, Sound Grammar, in addition to a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys.

Coleman’s music also transcended genres, as he collaborated with Lou Reed, Yoko Ono, and Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia at different points in his career.

Below, listen to “Lonely Woman” from The Shape of Jazz to Come.

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