Goodnight Ornette Coleman

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The music world has lost a true game-changer today.  Ornette Coleman has died of cardiac arrest at the age of 85.

Coleman was amongst a handful of similar innovators in the late 1950s and early 1960s – a group that includes Mingus, Coltrane, Parker, and Davis – that changed the rules of jazz.  The sharp divide between people who hear the word jazz and think of vocal American Songbook exercises a la Norah Jones and people who hear it and think of angular note-heavy freakouts is due in large part to the early work of Coleman, especially his 1959 masterpiece The Shape Of Jazz To Come.