John Coltrane Essay

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"I've got to keep experimenting. I feel that I'm just beginning. I have part of what I'm looking for in my grasp, but not all." This phrase, from the liner notes of "My Favorite Things" clearly defines Coltrane's life and his search for the incorporation of his spirituality with his music. John Coltrane was not only an essential contributor to jazz, but also music itself. John Coltrane died thirty-two years ago, on July 17, 1967, at the age of forty. In the years since, his influence has only grown, and the stellar avant-garde saxophonist has become a jazz legend of a stature shared only by Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. As an instrumentalist Coltrane was technically and imaginatively equal to both;…show more content…
Shortly after, he moved to Haig Point, North Carolina to live with his mother's father, the Reverend Walter Blaire. Walter Blaire would later on be a significant influence on Coltrane's music and spirituality. Coltrane's father, a tailor, served to be a source of Coltrane's interest in music through his fathers ability to play the clarinet, violin, and various other instruments. Furthermore, Coltrane's mother studied music. Both of Coltrane's grandfathers were ministers; and through their worship services, Coltrane began to build his roots. John's first encounters with music were through his father who played various instruments such as the violin, clarinet and ukulele. Other early influences included the religious music and preaching at his grandfather's community church. In 1938, his grandfather died and soon after, so did his father. At this time, Coltrane listened to the radio, which provided him with music by artists that would later become influences for his own music. These artists included Woody Herman, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges and Artie Shaw. At the age of 15, Coltrane began playing and studying the E-flat alto horn, the clarinet, and the saxophone at William Penn High School Orchestra, while listening to such artists as Woody Herman, Lester Young, and Thelonious Monk. It was in high school when John had his first girlfriend. John's friend Franklin was interested in one girl, but John stole her away with his

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