Pharoah Sanders, the saxophonist who was a prominent collaborator with John Coltrane and a key figure in the spiritual jazz scene, has died. He was 81.

Known for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques and his use of the “sheets of sound” improvisational style, Sanders played a major role in the development of free jazz and spiritual jazz throughout his career. Ornette Coleman described him as “probably the best tenor player in the world.”

Sanders died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles. The news was confirmed by his record label Luaka Bop on Twitter.

“We are devastated to share that Pharoah Sanders has passed away,” the label’s statement read. “He died peacefully surrounded by loving family and friends in Los Angeles earlier this morning. Always and forever the most beautiful human being, may he rest in peace.”