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Posts Tagged ‘Ornette Coleman’

Died On This Date (June 11, 2015) Ornette Coleman / Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on June 11, 2015

Randolph Ornette Coleman
March 9, 1930 – June 11, 2015

Photo by Jimmy Katz

Photo by Jimmy Katz

Ornette Coleman was one of the true greats of jazz.  As a saxophonist, he pioneered what would become to be called “free jazz.” In fact, he is often credited with actually inventing it, or at least putting a name to it, after naming his 1960 album,  Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. Born in Forth Worth, TX., Coleman spent much of his early career traveling around the United States performing along regional jazz circuits.  Along the way he began to incorporate country blues and R&B into his sound.  In his slower pieces, his high timbre can come across as crying, which appealed to fans of the blues as well.  In 1959, while living in New York, Coleman released The Shape of Things To Come, and a year later, Free Jazz.  Both releases broke him through in a big way and laid the foundation for the avant-garde movement of the 1960s and beyond.   In later years Coleman dabbled in rock, even performing with the Grateful Dead on occasion.  In 2007, he became the first musician to win a Pulitzer Prize – for his album, Sound Grammar.  He continued to perform and record up until the time of his death.  Ornette Coleman was 85 when he died of cardiac arrest on June 11, 2015.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus of the Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (July 11, 2014) Charlie Haden / American Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 11, 2014

Charlie Haden
August 6, 1937 – July 11, 2014

charlie-hadenCharlie Haden was an American jazz bassist who was most notably part of the Free Jazz movement of the ’50s and ’60s.  It was his work in Ornette Coleman‘s quartet during that time that endeared him to fans and critics alike.  The Coleman albums on which he played been called “game changers”, but it was 1959’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come that is considered a landmark of the genre. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, Haden worked with the great Keith Jarrett, playing on several albums that received critical acclaim as well.  In 1969, Haden formed the Liberation Music Orchestra whose output was more politically based, with Carla Bley contributing heavily.  Haden’s most commercially successful period began in the late ’80s with the formation of his Quartet West.  The configuration released albums well into the 2000s, The list of artists with whom Haden recorded over the years was not limited to jazz and includes Elvis Costello, Ginger Baker, Beck, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, and Robert Downey Jr.   Haden’s children have enjoyed careers in music as well – his son Joshua Haden is a member of the indie rock band, Spain, while his triplet daughters, Petra Haden, Tanya Haden, and Rachel Haden make up the acclaimed alt-country band, the Haden Triplets.  Charlie Haden was 77 when he passed away on July 11, 2014, following a lengthy illness.

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Died On This Date (October 27, 2013) Lou Reed / Influential American Rock Musician

Posted by themusicsover on October 27, 2013

Lou Reed
March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013

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Lou Reed was a Brooklyn-born singer, songwriter and musician who is as much remembered as the leader of the Velvet Underground as he is for the successful solo career that followed.  Influenced early on by rock ‘n roll , jazz, and rhythm and blues, Reed learned to play the guitar by mimicking songs he heard on the radio.  By the time he was in high school, Reed was already playing in a handful of bands.  While attending Syracuse University during the early ’60s, he hosted a radio program that focused primarily on doo wop, free jazz and R&B.  He later claimed that much of his guitar playing was influenced by jazz saxophonists like Ornette Coleman.  During the mid ’60s, Reed was living in New York City where he worked as a staff writer for Pickwick Records.  At one point, the label decided to form a group around Reed in an attempt to better pitch his songs.  That outfit, the Primitives, included a Welsh multi-instrumentalist by the name of John Cale. The two became fast friends and began building a group that would soon become the Velvet Underground which also included Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker.  On the behest of Andy Warhol, the group soon brought in German model and musician, Nico just in time to record their debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico.  Although the album was just moderately successful at the time, it is considered one of the most influential of the ’70s.  In fact, Rolling Stone cites it at #13 of all time.  White Light/White Heat followed and there would be three more until the band called it quits in 1970.  Two years later, Reed resurfaced with his debut release, Lou Reed, which was more-or-less new recordings of unreleased Velvet Underground tracks.  The album barely got noticed, but was thankfully followed quickly by the David Bowie and Mick Ronson produced Transformer, which reestablished Reed as one of rock music’s most important figures of the era.  Songs like “Vicious,” “Satellite Of Love,” and “Walk On The Wild Side” are as influential as any that came out of the ’70s.  Reed went on to record and tour through professional peaks and valleys over the next four decades which included a brief reunion of the Velvet Underground.  One fact that can’t be denied about Reed, is that his name is synonymous with what would become known as protopunk, a classification of groundbreaking  and often difficult to categorize musicians who many would later claim birthed punk rock – not because they were musically similar to punk rock, but because they continually challenged the norm.  It must also be noted that Reed was one of the greatest poets rock music has ever known.  In April of 2013, Reed received a liver transplant, and by all accounts was recovering, in fact, he later claimed on his website to be stronger than ever.  On October 27, 2013 however, he passed away in his home at the age of 71.   Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (October 10, 2010) Marion Brown / Avant-Garde Jazz Saxophonist

Posted by themusicsover on October 10, 2010

Marion Brown
September 8, 1931 – October 10, 2010

Marion Brown was an influential saxophonist who was closely associated with the avant-garde jazz movement of the ’60s.   After settling in New York City during the early ’60s, Brown quickly began running in the same circles as Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, and John Coltrane.  He can be heard playing on the latter’s great 1966 album, Ascension.  During the ’70s, Brown transitioned to education, holding positions at such prestigious colleges as Amherst, Wesleyan and Bowdoin.  And during the ’80s, Brown became equally respected for his paintings and drawings.  In poor heath in recent years, Marion Brown passed away in a Florida nursing home on October 10, 2010.  He was 79.

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Three for Shepp - Marion Brown

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Died On This Date (August 24, 2009) Joe Maneri / Jazz Saxophonist

Posted by themusicsover on August 24, 2010

Joe Maneri
February 9, 1927 – August 24, 2009

joe_maneriJoe Maneri was  jazz saxophonist and clarinetist who came to some prominence during the ’90s.  He specialized in taking traditional ethnic folk elements and embellishing them with his own avant garde free-form jazz.  He has been compared to Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra.  Thanks to composer John Zorn, a 1963 unreleased album found a home on his Avant Records in the late ’90s, exposing him to new fans than ever before.  Maneri went on to record several more albums throughout the late ’90s and 2000s.  Fan and comic writer, Harvey Pekar used Maneri’s music in his 2003 film, American Splendor.  Joe Maneri passed away at a Boston hospital due to complications from heart surgery.  He was 82.

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The Trio Concerts - Joe Maneri Trio

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