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Ornette Coleman’s discovery some thirty years ago that his band’s music was indeed a “free thing” marked the beginning of a revolution in jazz. From the early free-form experiments, Coleman’s dancing blues, and John Coltrane’s saxophone cries and sheets of sound, to the brittle, melancholy modes of Miles Davis, vibrant, sophisticated new jazz idioms proliferated. In this critical and historical survey of today’s jazz, noted critic John Litweiler traces the evolution of the new music through such artists as Coleman, Coltrane, Davis, Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, and others. He also addresses questions such as: Is Free jazz a rejection of the jazz tradition? Are European folk classical musics altering this essentially Afro-American art? Do the principles of Free jazz provide real emotional liberation for the creative musician? This is a solid, informed guide—for new jazz fans and serious listeners alike—to what has, in many ways, been the most productive and most controversial period in the history of jazz.