Jazz Video

Ornette Coleman's influence on jazz

Ornette Coleman

Watch this awesome take on Ornette Coleman and how he shaped jazz music as we know it today.

Back in June, Polyphonic made a video about Ornette Coleman and how he shaped jazz music during his blistering career. Coleman’s music was polarising and unique and that’s exactly how he wanted it.

The video looks at Coleman’s musical ideology, the radicalism in his compositions, and his use of instrumentation.

In his obituary to Coleman, Ben Ratliff wrote:

“His early work — a personal answer to his fellow alto saxophonist and innovator Charlie Parker — lay right within the jazz tradition and generated a handful of standards for jazz musicians of the last half-century. But he later challenged assumptions about jazz from top to bottom, bringing in his own ideas about instrumentation, process and technical expertise.”

And Coleman believed in the spirituality of music and the innate qualities we all share with it:

“I don’t want them to follow me. I want them to follow themselves, but to be with me.”

Stream the video below.

The Strange Album that Changed Jazz Forever


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:05 Title Card
  • 01:13 Radical Musical Ideas
  • 04:41 Musicians Just as Radical
  • 06:22 Instrumentation and Structure
  • 08:13 Music as Ideas
  • 08:59 Lonely Woman
  • 10:41 The Shape of Jazz to Come (Conclusion)
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