The Influence of Free Jazz

Free jazz was created by saxophonist Ornette Coleman between the years 1959 and 1960.  Free jazz is very different from its previous forms due to the lack of harmonic changes like with the blues and the lack of piano and guitar.  Because he was a saxophonist most of his music contains saxophones along with bass drums and trumpets.  This style was very different from bebop and cool jazz and did not become a prominent jazz style.  Though it did not become extremely popular, it has influenced many jazz styles used today.

Although it was not the most popular style, it caught the attention of one John Coltrane.  John Coltrane was an American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer.  Coltrane was one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz.  He was creating one of his greatest albums “Giant Steps” around the same time Coleman was recording his albums.  He thought that Colemans’ approach to the genre was very liberating.  Once they began to work with each other, Colemans’ music elevated to another level.  Coltrane was so inspired he found his own way in the genre of free jazz.  In Coltrane’s new version he did not include any structures of bebop as well as no rhythmic pulse.  Though Coltrane tried to take the torch of free jazz he was nowhere near as successful and influential as Coleman.  And not only did Coleman try to recreate free jazz but others did as well like pianist Cecil Taylor.  He tried to create his own spin on the genre as well by using the piano and finding different ranges and potentials in the piano.  In conclusion, though the free jazz genre was not the most popular, it still liberated and helped other artists find their own light and way in the music industry.         

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