The Samuel Beckett Of Jazz

Ornette Coleman’s music is, if anything, more radical now than it was then, but he was welcomed into the jazz establishment long ago, albeit not to universal approval. This year he received a lifetime achievement Grammy in addition to a Pulitzer prize and MacArthur Foundation “genius”‘ award. He’s not much interested in plaudits. “I don’t want to be at the top. I just want to be alive and useful,” he says.