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Jazz music of yesterday doesn’t exactly align with social media whims of the present time, but there is no taking away the timelessness the refined sounds brought to the table. Let alone, influenced other genres, especially Hip-Hop.

So even if you are unaware of the name, it should be taken as gospel that the world is devoid of a great artistic presence now that Blue Note Records great Ornette Coleman has passed away.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning saxophonist and composer died earlier this morning of cardiac arrest in New York City on Thursday morning. He was 85-years-old.

Across the country, the Los Angeles Times dug up quotes from Coleman’s peers–many of which came in his primetime–that symbolized why he mattered in the music world.

“Hell, I just listen to what he writes and how he plays. If you’re talking psychologically, the man is all screwed up inside.” — Miles Davis, reported to Joe Goldberg, “Jazz Masters of the ‘50s”

“I don’t know what he’s playing, but it’s not jazz.” — Dizzy Gillespie to Time magazine, June, 1960

“Man, that cat is nuts!” — Thelonius Monk

“He is a man of great conviction, a pioneer always moving forward down the path he has chosen, a can opener who opens all of us up as musicians. I could not play what I play had it not been for Ornette Coleman.” — Herbie Hancock, New York Times, 1990

“When I worked with Ornette, somehow I became more of a person in my own playing.” — Shelley Manne, reported by Jazz magazine, 1963

And that was just a small sample. Among Coleman’s many accomplishments was the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music which he received for his album, Sound Grammar. Most of his catalog can be found on iTunes as well.

He is survived by one son.

Photo: WENN

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