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Clip: Ornette Coleman wins Pulitzer Prize

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  • Carl Z.
    Ornette Coleman Wins Music Pulitzer NPR.org, April 16, 2007 · Ornette Coleman has won the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 17, 2007

      Ornette Coleman Wins Music Pulitzer

      NPR.org, April 16, 2007 · Ornette Coleman has won the Pulitzer Prize
      for music with his recording Sound Grammar, a document of a 2005
      concert recorded live in Italy.

      Coleman's music was not among the 140 music nominees. Pulitzer
      panelists used their prerogative to skirt traditional rules by
      purchasing the CD and nominating the 77-year-old jazz master. This is
      the first time a recording has won the music Pulitzer, and a first for
      purely improvised music.

      The concert features an unorthodox line-up of instruments, including
      two double basses (one plucked, the other bowed), Coleman's son
      Denardo on drums, and Coleman himself playing alto saxophone and

      Coleman has continued to shake up the jazz world ever since releasing
      his innovative recording The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959.

      Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1930, Coleman received his first
      saxophone at age 14. His mother saved money to buy the instrument by
      working as a seamstress. At first, Coleman struggled to find his own
      sound on the alto saxophone, but eventually developed his own formulas
      of composition, breaking down traditional definitions of harmony and

      The concept, called "Harmolodic," Coleman says, "removes the caste
      system from sound."

      Coleman has written music outside of the jazz realm, including string
      quartets, music for dance, woodwind quintets, and in the early 1970s,
      a symphony called "Skies of America," composed with support from his
      Guggenheim Foundation Grant.

      In 1994, Coleman earned a MacArthur "Genius" award, and has been
      inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
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