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John Coltrane

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Hamlet NC, United States (1926 – 1967)

John William Coltrane (Hamlet, North Carolina, September 23, 1926 – Huntington, New York, July 17, 1967) was an American and .

American jazz great John Coltrane emerged in the 19, playing tenor and soprano sax with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. A leader of “”, in the 19 he led his own groups and changed the face of jazz with experimentation and improvisation, his later recordings reflecting his belief that music was a form of spiritual expression. Sometimes called simply ‘Trane, his recordings include Giant Steps (1959), My Favorite Things (1960), Olé (1961) and A Love Supreme (1964). In his later recordings he collaborated on avante-garde music with his wife, Alice Coltrane (b. Alice McLeod, 1937-2007), who had a career in her own right.

The band sometimes called Coltrane’s “classic quartet” of the early 1960s included McCoy Tyner (piano), Elvin Jones (drums) and Jimmy Garrison (bass).
Despite a relatively brief career (he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967), saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz. It seems amazing that his period of greatest activity was so short, not only because he recorded prolifically, but also because, taking advantage of his fame, the record companies that recorded him as a sideman in the 1950s frequently reissued those recordings under his name and there has been a wealth of posthumously released material as well.

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