Ornette Coleman is probably the most influential avant-garde musician in the world. A leading force in jazz since his startling debut in the late ’50s, Coleman’s emotive alto sax style relies on melodic improvisation unfettered by chord changes. This style (and philosophy) was dubbed by Ornette "harmelodics" and reached its peak in a small combo whose virtuoso playing had the power of the blues and the multi-rhythmic sophistication of Monk, Mingus, or Coltrane.
The landmark series of albums Coleman released in the late ’50s and early ’60s still define the shape of jazz to come. The Atlantic label is where this ‘free jazz’ pioneer recorded his most seminal sides between 1959 and 1962.