John Coltrane

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John Coltrane, shown in 1963.

John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was a famous American jazz saxophonist.


  • I thought about this question. I answered it as best I could [at the press conference]. I felt I didn't tell [the reporter] what I really wanted to say. He thought I was Christian. And I am by birth; my parents were and my early teachings were Christian. But as I look upon the world, I feel all men know the truth. If a man was a Christian, he could know the truth and he could not. The truth itself does not have any name on it. And each man has to find it for himself, I think.
    • Liner notes for Live in Japan. Impulse. GRD-4-102, 1991.
  • Keep a thing happenin' all throughout.
    • Chatter before studio version of "Dearly Beloved", addressing pianist Mccoy Tyner. (1964)[citation needed]
  • Rushin' Lullaby.
    • Coltrane answering producer Bob Weinstock's question "Trane, what was the name of that tune?". Coltrane and his band were actually playing a fast tempo version of Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby".[citation needed]

Quotes about Coltrane[edit]

  • You know, John Coltrane has been sort of a god to me. Seems like, in a way, he didn't get the inspiration out of other musicians. He had it. When you hear a cat do a thing like that, you got to go along with him. I think I heard Coltrane before I really got close to Miles [Davis]. Miles had a tricky way of playing his horn that I didn't understand as much as I did Coltrane. I really didn't understand what Coltrane was doing, but it was so exciting the thing that he was doing...
    • Interview with Wes Montgomery. Gleason. Downbeat (1961), 24.
  • In short, [Coltrane's] tone is beautiful because it is functional. In other words, it is always involved in saying something. You can't separate the means that a man uses to say something from what he ultimately says. Technique is not separated from its content in a great artist.
    • Cecil Taylor (quoted in Cole, _John Coltrane_, p193)
  • John [Coltrane] was like a visitor to this planet. He came in peace and he left in peace; but during his time here, he kept trying to reach new levels of awareness, of peace, of spirituality. That's why I regard the music he played as spiritual music -- John's way of getting closer and closer to the Creator.
    • Albert Ayler (quoted in Valerie Wilmer, _As Serious As Your Life_, p31)

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