The Life and Art of Ornette Coleman

Relevant Reading:

Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure
Maria Golia, Reaktion Books, 2020, $22.50

In Ornette Coleman: The Territory and the Adventure, Maria Golia explores the life of one of the most innovative American musicians of the 20th century. Born into the conservative and deeply segregated city of Fort Worth, Texas in 1930, Coleman became a musical pioneer, with early albums like Free Jazz and The Shape of Jazz to Come becoming hallmarks of avant-garde jazz. Coleman continued to innovate restlessly until his death in 2015.

Golia, who met Coleman during her own job managing the “Caravan of Dreams” performing arts center in Fort Worth, has written a book that is less a straightforward biography than an exploration of the key places, people, and ideas that shaped Coleman’s life. From the Jim Crow South to the Five Spot jazz club in New York, the book traces the remarkable career of a restless musical trailblazer, and offers lessons for artists of all stripes.

Maria Golia is an American writer of fiction and non-fiction based in Cairo; she also serves as the Middle East reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement. Maria recently spoke with guest host Matt Hanson—a contributing editor at The Arts Fuse and a frequent contributor to The American Interest—about her acclaimed new book.

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Published on: August 9, 2020
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