191 Days: Reflections on Ornette Coleman

Pitches without names — a Buddhist way of thought.

Daniel Schnee


The depths of winter are beginning to sing their song… bringing with them the memory of lost summer heat, and bare skin against the wind… the lost smile of the sun’s freedom…

The picture above is my favorite picture of myself and my saxophone teacher, in his apartment in New York in the summer of 2009. It captures a very happy conclusion to my final saxophone lesson with him; post-duet bliss captured immediately after a lengthy improvisation. It is also the final time I saw him. 

12 years earlier in the summer of 1997, while living/working in New York City, I had the privilege of meeting and becoming a student of this great man… Ornette Coleman (1930 – 2015), jazz legend/icon and recipient of both a Grammy™ Lifetime Achievement Award and Pulitzer Prize among other honours. He was a huge influence on much of the world’s art and music…

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