Coltrane died of liver cancer at the age of 40 on July 17, 1967, at Huntington Hospital on Long Island. During the short period between 1965 and his death in 1967, Coltrane’s work expanded into a free, collective (simultaneous) improvisation based on prearranged scales. From AC/DC to Bruce Springsteen, test your knowledge of the origins of various musicians and groups in this quiz.  According to the musician Peter Lavezzoli, "Alice brought happiness and stability to John's life, not only because they had children, but also because they shared many of the same spiritual beliefs, particularly a mutual interest in Indian philosophy. He was an infant when his family moved to High Point. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Coltrane, The Met - Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History - Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey, BlackPast - Biography of John William Coltrane, North Carolina Music Hall of Fame - Biography of, John Coltrane - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Legendary saxophone virtuoso John Coltrane continues to influence modern jazz even from the grave. John studied clarinet and alto saxophone as a youth and then moved to Philadelphia in 1943 and continued his studies at the Ornstein School of Music and the Granoff Studios. He was drafted into the navy in 1945 and played alto sax with a navy band until 1946; he switched to tenor saxophone in 1947. His playing was compressed, with rapid runs cascading in hundreds of notes per minute.  The congregation became affiliated with the African Orthodox Church; this involved changing Coltrane's status from a god to a saint. The criticism of the quintet with Dolphy may have affected Coltrane. They remained in touch until his death in 1967.  The album was controversial primarily for the collective improvisation sections that separated the solos. " After touring with King Kolax, he joined a band led by Jimmy Heath, who was introduced to Coltrane's playing by his former Navy buddy, trumpeter William Massey, who had played with Coltrane in the Melody Masters. In 1955, Coltrane was freelancing in Philadelphia while studying with guitarist Dennis Sandole when he received a call from trumpeter Miles Davis. It included the most experimental music he had played, influenced by Indian ragas, modal jazz, and free jazz. Coltrane's first musical influence was his father, a tailor and part-time musician. Coltrane stayed with Davis until April 1960, working with alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley; pianists Red Garland, Bill Evans, and Wynton Kelly; bassist Paul Chambers; and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb. He recorded most of his albums for Impulse! The "sheets of sound" and other bizarre stylistic elements that characterize Coltrane's jazz sparked heated debate at the time of their composition. Furthermore, Dolphy's angular, voice-like playing earned him a reputation as a figurehead of the "New Thing", also known as free jazz, a movement led by Ornette Coleman which was denigrated by some jazz musicians (including Davis) and critics. For the Record …. Coltrane described Om as the "first syllable, the primal word, the word of power". Even though I could feel it coming, it hurt, and I didn't get over it for at least another year." Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, is a 2016 American film directed by John Scheinfeld. His maternal grandfather, the Reverend William Blair, was a minister at an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in High Point, North Carolina, and his paternal grandfather, the Reverend William H. Coltrane, was an A.M.E. Zion minister in Hamlet, North Carolina. Starting in 1961, Coltrane also began pairing Workman with a second bassist, usually Art Davis or Donald Garrett. became a leading free jazz label. The album Ballads (recorded 1961–62) is emblematic of Coltrane's versatility, as the quartet shed new light on old-fashioned standards such as "It's Easy to Remember". Most of Coltrane’s early solo albums are of a high quality, particularly Blue Train (1957), perhaps the best recorded example of his early hard bop style (see bebop). John William Coltrane, Jr., was born on the autumn equinox, September 23, 1926. John Coltrane Facts Biography. John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Today his work is still either hailed as the very pinnacle of genius or dismissed as flights of monotonous self-indulgence. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. , Rev. There were many things that people like Hawk [Coleman Hawkins], and Ben [Webster] and Tab Smith were doing in the '40s that I didn't understand, but that I felt emotionally. Coltrane's spiritual journey was interwoven with his investigation of world music. We were doing some things rhythmically, and Coltrane became excited about the sound. John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Coltrane adopted Syeeda. His reputation later spread far and wide. No jazzman had attempted so overtly to offer his work as a form of religious expression.  A recording of this concert was released by Impulse! One bass remains in the lower register and is the stabilizing, pulsating thing, while the other bass is free to improvise, like the right hand would be on the drum. Claiming he was unable to hear himself over the two drummers, Tyner left the band shortly after the recording of Meditations.  His collection of books included The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the Bhagavad Gita, and Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi.  Critic Norman Weinstein noted the parallel between Coltrane's music and his experience in the southern church, which included practicing music there as a youth. Four of its five tracks are original Coltrane compositions, and the title track, "Moment's Notice", and "Lazy Bird", have become standards. He was influenced by religion and spirituality beginning in childhood. In 1955, Coltrane married Naima (née Juanita Grubbs). Their son Ravi, named after Ravi Shankar, is also a saxophonist. As a matter of fact, he was the only leader we've had in jazz who successfully maintained an evolutionary creative output as well as building a 'jazz star' image. The jazz legend remains one of the most influential musical artists of the 20th century, more than fifty years after his passing at the young age of 40. In October of that year, jazz critic Ira Gitler coined the term "sheets of sound" to describe the style Coltrane developed with Monk and was perfecting in Davis's group, now a sextet. Naima Coltrane died of a heart attack in October 1996. Coltrane recalled: "I found that there were a certain number of chord progressions to play in a given time, and sometimes what I played didn't work out in eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or triplets.  On March 7, 1963, they were joined in the studio by Hartman for the recording of six tracks for the John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, released that July. His funeral was held four days later at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in New York City. ", According to drummer John Densmore of The Doors, Coltrane was one of the first tenor saxophone players to switch from plastic mouthpieces to metal ones. , To avoid being drafted by the Army, Coltrane enlisted in the Navy on August 6, 1945, the day the first U.S. atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. His somewhat tentative, relatively melodic early style can be heard on the Davis-led albums recorded for the Prestige and Columbia labels during 1955 and ’56. at Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Trane offers music lovers the kind of compositions that only a few can rival. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... How well do you know your musical places? In June 1965, he went into Van Gelder's studio with ten other musicians (including Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Marion Brown, and John Tchicai) to record Ascension, a 38-minute piece that included solos by young avant-garde musicians. Hasaan was the great influence on Trane's melodic concept."