The Life And Music Of John Coltrane Essay

1762 Words 8 Pages
A Brief Look Into
The Life and Music of
JOHN COLTRANE

     John Coltrane was born in born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926. John Coltrane was an only child. His father, John was a tailor who played the violin and ukulele, and his mother Alice played piano and sang in the church choir. This was a great environment to foster his love of music. Coltrane soon moved with his family to the town of High Point, where his grandfather was the pastor of the A.M.E. Zion Church. His family was very religious and this instilled in him a deep devotion in religion. At the age of twelve Coltrane's received his first instrument a clarinet which he played for hours on end, that same year Coltrane?s father died.
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It?s at this time he enrolled at Granoff School of Music for further training on the tenor sax. He was dropped from Johnny Hodges' band when heroin began interfering with his music. Nineteen fifty five proved to be a big year for Coltrane. He picked up his nickname, "Trane," and married his wife Naima.
It?s in 1955 that things really took off for Coltrane. He joined Miles Davis' first legendary quintet, which included Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. He came to national prominence as a member.

Coltrane moved to New York in 1956. New York was the home of not only many jazz musicians including Miles Davis, but also record companies and recording studios. But disaster struck, Coltrane was kicked out by Miles because of heroin addiction. Coltrane was crushed and returned to Philadelphia once more in the spring of 1957 to kick his heroin habit and his alcoholism. With the support of his wife and his mother, he spent an entire week in solitude, eating nothing and drinking only water. He later described being ?touched? by God during the time, and dedicated his next recording, ?A Love Supreme?, to his Lord. "My goal," Coltrane said as if (arising from the ashes) like a phoenix to preach his ?revelation?, "is to live the truly religious life, and express it through my music. If you live it,

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