Ornette Coleman, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for “Sound Grammar,” the first jazz work to be bestowed with the honor.

photo of year, 2006, awarded to
John Abbot by Jazz Journalist’s Association

I decided, if I’m going to be poor and black and all, the least thing I’m going to do is to try and find out who I am. I created everything about me.

To me, human existence exists on a multiple level, not just on a two-dimensional level, not just having to be identified with what you do and what you say.

DJ Spooky and Ornette Coleman

I don’t really live like a musician myself. I think music is just something that I do, but I’d like to be doing lots of other things. I like to cure all kinds of illness.

ornette_denardo_coleman_elliotlandy_jazzreflectionsOrnette and Deandro Coleman
photo by Elliot Landy

I remember once I read a book on mental illness and there was a nurse that had gotten sick. Do you know what she died from? From worrying about the mental patients not being able to get their food. She became a mental patient.

Ornette Coleman and The Grateful Dead,_2-23-1993_Oakland Colisseum

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