I'm wondering if it's "usually" good to start off with chord
Yes, it is good.
An old cliché but all too true:
You need to learn the rules in order to break them.
Attributed to Charlie Parker:
Learn the changes, then forget them.
Of course that begs the question: If you're supposed to forget them, why learn the changes in the first place?
The answer: It doesn't mean to forget/ignore the changes entirely - changes give you a framework with which to work. What you need 'forget' are the traditional, seemingly arbitrary constraints imposed by the changes: Forget them and play what you hear, within the framework suggested by the changes.
Anyone who has compared Bird to someone like Albert Ayler or Ornette Coleman or Sun Ra knows that Bird was very well aware of the changes, but he worked through them in new ways that broke down the established rules.
Mark Levin in his Jazz Theory Book (Sequences) explains it well: (emphasis mine)
The more you master 'playin the changes', the more you're likely to use them as a blueprint, rather than laws you have to strictly obey.
To reach the level of artistry of Mulgrew [Miller] -- who plays
whatever he hears and sounds right no matter what the chord symbol
says - you first have to master playing chord symbols as they are
But remember this: Chord Symbols are a guide, not a straightjacket.
My own personal opinion, which is also that of many distinguished pedagogues and scholars: Music without form and harmonic organization can be interesting - for a while - but it will soon become boring and monotonous, even if the players are great virtuosos. Humans thrive on patterns and organization: It's part of the essence of being human. In music that means structure determined by chord changes, and/or regulated melodies and harmonies, or some other system of organization.
(True: many will disagree - so be it. Musical preferences are a matter of personal taste - subjective)
Again my personal, subjective opinion: Unless you already know all about how to work with chords and scales, the urge to "just starting playing and not worry about chord changes and rules" is just laziness - it's fun to make interesting sounds without having to work too hard at it.
In the classical world, perhaps the greatest composer of the 20th century, Arnold Schoenberg, went through an atonal period in the early part of the century. But subsequently he abandoned atonality after realizing its limitations for expression and musical development. As a result, he developed something called the Twelve-tone technique subsequently adopted by other notable composers who had dabbled with atonality, including Schoenberg's chief rival and contemporary,
Igor Stravinksy. (Stravinksy's adoption of the 12 Tone Technique was, in that world, as controversial and iconoclastic as the day Bob Dylan "went electric" - Worlds Collided.)
The Twelve-tone technique doesn't use "chord changes" and harmonies in the traditional sense, but it is indeed structured with rules and constraints, which provide a framework for interesting and engaging musical expression.
Learn the changes, before you forget them
Note 1: This doesn't mean that interesting music cannot be developed by starting simply with a melody and jamming on it. But subsequently that kernel should be developed and structured into a coherent piece of music, which should be your goal. My discussion here relates to making "ignoring chord changes" your musical style and methodology.
Note 2: My approach in this question is that it's not really about "chord changes" per se, but structured, formalized music v. a "free form" approach. The term "Chord Changes" simply reflects the way most pop/rock musicians view musical structure.