Happy Birthday to Ornette Coleman!!
The year was 1959, and Coleman made two landmark albums of “Free Jazz” that was to change the way we look and think about jazz today. Tomorrow Is The Question a “pianoless” quartet album on the Contemporary label with an incredible rhythm section comprised of Shelly Manne, Percy Heath, and Red Mitchell, sharing bass duties and Don Cherry on Trumpet. WOW!!
The Shape Of Jazz To Come was a Atlantic label album of the same year. These two albums push the envelope of jazz to the limit. His quartet had a lengthy engagement at NewYorks “Five Spot” which was controversial to say the least, but drew much attention. His music is genus and a gift to jazz, discover and enjoy.
Don Friedman a New York based jazz man, a classically trained pianist who was good friends and roommate with bassist Scott LaFaro in the 50’s. You will find him playing Swing Jazz or Free Jazz in which A Day in the City is a great example of his Free style. Born in 1935 he’s still playing in todays jazz scene. Straight Ahead is his 2008 album of trio jazz. A true veteran of classic jazz.
Ornette Coleman pioneer of the “Free Jazz” movement in the 50’s. The Shape Of Jazz To Come 1959 Atlantic release was very influential and changed the jazz community. Many years earlier another jazz man was performing “Free Jazz” before it was known as such. Forgotten and only recently attributed as one of the first to play this style of Jazz… Cecil Taylor and his 1956 Blue Note album was pushing the limits of Jazz. These are two great example’s of this exciting style of Jazz.
John Coltrane beginning in Bebop and Hardbop, he later practically invented Free Jazz. He is one of the most significant saxophonist in jazz history. He played on Miles Davis’s Milestones and Kind of Blue albums playing the tenor sax. His influences were Sidney Bechet and Steve Lacy and in 1960 he formed his own group McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Steve Davis recording for Atlantic Records My Favorite Things which also was a debut for his decision to change to soprano sax. 1961 saw his switch to Impulse where he was given creative freedom to explore and help lead the way in the Avant-garde or Free Jazz movement. 1961 also saw Reggie Workman replacing Steve Davis on bass and Eric Dolphy as a second horn. During this period critics branded him and his group as members of the “anti-jazz” or “Free jazz” movement lead by Ornette Coleman. 1962 Dolphy left the band and Jimmy Garrison replaced “Workman” to form his “Classic Quartet”. This quartet in 1964 recorded the most favorite album A Love Supreme. In 1967 John died of Liver Cancer leaving behind a tremendous legacy. Ravi Coltrane his son is a tenor and soprano saxophonist, band leader and composer. He plays in the group The Blue Note 7 commemorating Bluenotes 70 years as a jazz leader.
John Coltrane discography Link