Ornette Coleman, jazz visionary, dead at 85
NEW YORK — Jazz legend Ornette Coleman, the visionary saxophonist who pioneered “free jazz” and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, has died.
Publicist Ken Weinstein says Coleman died on Thursday at 1 a.m. in Manhattan. He was 85.
The Texas-born Coleman was only the second jazz artist to win the Pulitzer in music when he was honored for his 2006 album “Sound Grammar.”
His quartet shook up the jazz establishment when it burst on the scene in 1959 with the album “The Shape of Jazz to Come,” which liberated musicians to freely improvise off the melody. He became one of the world’s most respected musicians, his contributions to jazz sometimes compared to those of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.