John Coltrane
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1926-09-23
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John Coltrane

John Coltrane Biography (BBC)

Coltrane was the single most influential saxophonist of the 1960s, and his legacy has continued to dominate approaches to his instrument ever since. His most important work was crammed into little more than a decade, beginning when he joined Miles Davis in 1955, and lasting until his premature death from cancer.

In this period he seldom stood still stylistically, although his commanding technique, distinctive tone and prolific ideas always made him immediately recognisable. He was born in North Carolina, but came to Philadelphia in his late teens where he forged several important musical associations, notably with saxophonist Jimmy Heath, in whose band he played.

They joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band together in 1949. Coltrane stayed on when Gillespie scaled down to a small group, and he then worked with Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges, before joining Davis. Coltrane had got involved in drugs during his time in Gillespie's band, but in 1957 he left Davis, quit using heroin, and returned to the New York scene as a member of Thelonious Monk's quartet.

Immediately the technical advances in his playing became obvious, and in his recordings with Monk he began to demonstrate his ability to play rapid scalar figures which the critic Ira Gitler called 'sheets of sound'. When he rejoined Miles Davis, Coltrane used a similar technique, but the two men also explored the possibility of improvising over a modal background - exemplified by Milestones, and by the album Kind of Blue.

When he left to lead his own quartet, Coltrane continued this approach, initially playing over harmonically dense compositions such as his famous Giant Steps, but eventually simplifying the harmonic basis of his pieces, His version of My Favourite Things (which became a big hit for him) uses a simple modal scale as its backdrop.

His quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones became the leading modern jazz group of the early 1960s, and Coltrane's own improvisations grew ever longer and more complex. While Tyner pared away the harmonies, Jones added a rhythmically dense accompaniment. The high point of the quartet's work was the four-part Love Supreme from 1964.

After this, Coltrane expanded his group, making the free jazz album Ascension, and generally working with another saxophonist, such as Pharoah Sanders, and replacing Jones with the colouristic drumming of Rashied Ali and Tyner with the impressionistic piano of his second wife Alice Coltrane.

His final albums explore his deep spiritual convictions, but without compromising the technical perfection and passionate eloquence of his own playing. His son, Ravi Coltrane (born 1965) has become a world-class saxophonist in his own right.

John Coltrane Biography (Wikipedia)

John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes and was at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions and appeared on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Over the course of his career, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. He remains one of the most influential saxophonists in music history. He received many posthumous awards, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church and a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane and their son, Ravi Coltrane, is also a saxophonist.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.



John Coltrane Tracks

John Coltrane
Dear Lord
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Dear Lord

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Duke Ellington
In a sentimental mood
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In a sentimental mood
John Coltrane
Giant Steps
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Giant Steps
Duke Ellington
In A Sentimental Mood
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In A Sentimental Mood
Miles Davis
Flamenco Sketches
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Flamenco Sketches
Duke Ellington
In A Sentimental Mood
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In A Sentimental Mood
John Coltrane
Cousin Mary
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Cousin Mary
John Coltrane
Naima
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Naima
John Coltrane
My One and Only Love
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My One and Only Love
John Coltrane
My Favourite Things
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My Favourite Things
Don Cherry
Focus On Sanity
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Focus On Sanity
John Coltrane
Alabama
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Alabama
John Coltrane
A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement
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A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement
John Coltrane
Ascension
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Ascension
John Coltrane
The Blessing
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The Blessing
John Coltrane
Liberia
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Liberia
John Coltrane
Blue Train
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Blue Train
John Coltrane
Crescent
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Crescent
Miles Davis
Blue In Green
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Blue In Green
John Coltrane
Song Of The Underground Railroad
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Song Of The Underground Railroad
John Coltrane
Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
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Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
John Coltrane
I Wish I Knew
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I Wish I Knew
John Coltrane
Feeling Good
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Feeling Good
John Coltrane
Russian Lullaby
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Russian Lullaby
John Coltrane
Untitled Original 11383
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Untitled Original 11383
John Coltrane
Nature Boy
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Nature Boy
John Coltrane
The Believer
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The Believer
John Coltrane
Naima
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Naima
John Coltrane
My Favorite Things Part I
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My Favorite Things Part I
John Coltrane
A Love Supreme Part II - Resolution
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A Love Supreme Part II - Resolution
John Coltrane
One Up, One Down - Take 1
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One Up, One Down - Take 1
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