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Prize-winning jazz legend Ornette Coleman dies aged 85

By Staff Reporter

Jazz legend Ornette Coleman, the visionary saxophonist who pioneered "free jazz" and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, has died.

Publicist Ken Weinstein says Coleman died at 1am yesterday in Manhattan. He was 85.

The Texas-born Coleman was only the second jazz artist to win the Pulitzer Prize in music when he was honoured for his 2006 album Sound Grammar.

His quartet shook up the jazz establishment when it burst on the scene in 1959 with the album The Shape Of Jazz To Come, which liberated musicians to freely improvise.

He became one of the world's most respected musicians, his contributions to jazz sometimes compared to those of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker.

Though largely self-taught, Coleman would create his own "harmolodic" concept of music, which also became a life philosophy.

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