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Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman (March 9 or 19, 1930 – June 11, 2015) was an American jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, and composer. In the 1960s, he was one of the founders of free jazz, a term he invented for his album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. His "Broadway Blues" and "Lonely Woman" have become standards and are cited as important early works in free jazz. His album Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

In 1959 Atlantic released The Shape of Jazz to Come. According to music critic Steve Huey, the album "was a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with." Jazzwise listed it No. 3 on their list of the 100 best jazz albums of all time.

Coleman's quartet received a long – and sometimes controversial – engagement at Five Spot jazz club in New York City. Leonard Bernstein, Lionel Hampton, and Modern Jazz Quartet were impressed and offered encouragement. Hampton asked to perform with the quartet; Bernstein helped Haden obtain a composition grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. But trumpeter Miles Davis said Coleman was "all screwed up inside", although he recanted this comment and became a proponent of Coleman's innovations...

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Jazz Avant-Garde Jazz Fusion Funk Free Jazz
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