Copy into your RSS Reader
Copy into your Podcast App
Ornette Coleman at his 85th birthday party in March 2015.
John Rogers for NPR
June 15, 2015 Photographer John Rogers befriended the saxophonist and composer about 10 years ago. Then he started bringing other musicians to jam at Coleman's house.
Ornette Coleman performs at the Skopje Jazz Festival in 2006.
Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images
June 12, 2015 Coleman died Thursday, at the age of 85. Listen back to a 1987 conversation with the saxophonist and composer, as well as interviews with members of his quartet, Don Cherry and Charlie Haden.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/413914118/413973233" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Ornette Coleman performs during the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2010.
Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns/Getty Images
June 11, 2015 The American jazz saxophonist and composer who liberated jazz from conventional harmony, tonality, structure and expectation, died Thursday of cardiac arrest in Manhattan at age 85.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/413630335/413711397" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman.
Courtesy of the artist
May 27, 2015 The titanic 85-year-old jazz saxophonist and composer says two much younger musicians had no right to release a recording with him.
Judy Garland (right) sang "I Got Rhythm" in the 1943 movie version of the 1930s musical Girl Crazy.
Courtesy of MGM
February 9, 2011 When George Gershwin wrote "I Got Rhythm" for the 1930s musical Girl Crazy, he created one of the most catchy melodies in American history. But little did he know that his lovable song — apart from becoming a hugely popular jazz standard — would evolve into something far greater.
Ornette Coleman creates a sound-world with colors.
March 1, 2010 When Coleman's imprint of fire-brazed melodicism strikes you, you may very well have his tunes stuck in your head all night long.
Rafa Rivas/Getty Images
August 4, 2009 Some people are said to "follow a path" in their creative life, but a path is not enough for bassist Charlie Haden. For more than 50 years, he's been building his own musical freeway. To follow him down that freeway is one of the richest experiences in American music. It's Haden's birthday this week, so here's a chance to celebrate with five of his best songs.
September 24, 2007 As the master of free jazz, Ornette Coleman's career spans more than five decades. Over that time, he has created a musical world of his own. He talks to Farai Chideya about his unique perspective on the beauty of sound.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/14656194/14656177" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
May 30, 2007 This week's staff song pick comes from News & Notes producer Roy Hurst. His choice is Ornette Coleman's "Only Once," a piece Hurst describes as an emotional and challenging composition.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/10551757/10551760" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
April 16, 2007 Ornette Coleman, 77, has won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music. As a musician, he has erased as many borders as he has crossed. Whether he's writing symphonic works, chamber music, or playing alto saxophone, trumpet or violin, Coleman continues to surprise audiences.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor