See biographies by B. McRae (1988), J. Litweiler (1992), and P. N. Wilson (1999); study by D. Lee (2006).
(born March 9, 1930, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.) U.S. saxophonist and composer, the principal initiator and leading exponent of free jazz. Coleman began playing the saxophone as a teenager and soon became a working musician in dance bands and rhythm-and-blues groups. He abandoned harmonic patterns in order to improvise more directly upon melodic and expressive elements; because the tonal centres of such music changed at the improviser's will, it became known as “free jazz.” His organized collective improvisation in such recordings as Free Jazz (1960) placed him firmly in the jazz avant-garde. In the 1970s he began composing orchestral music and also formed an electric band called Prime Time, with which he was active until the 1990s.
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