Released by Atlantic Records in 1959, The Shape Of Jazz To Come was Ornette Coleman’s debut for the label. Like most jazz of the period, each selection contains a brief melody, then several minutes of free improvisations, followed by a repetition of the main theme. Yet unlike the same jazz of the period, Coleman’s quartet completely abandons the use of chord structures.
This breakthrough album helped establish the “free jazz” movement and in 2012 was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, but don’t let the words “free jazz” scare you away. The Shape Of Jazz To Come is still quite approachable and truly a pleasure for me working through this album cover redesign.