Essay on John Coltrane

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John Coltrane: An Experimental Musician
Jazz, which evolved from African American folk music, has developed and changed over the last century to become an art form in America. It places particular importance on inventive self interpretation. Rather than relying on a written piece, the artist improvises. Jazz has taken many forms over the past seventy years; there is almost always a single person who can be credited with the evolution of that sound. From Thelonius Monk, and his bebop, to Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, to Miles Davis’ cool jazz, or to John Coltrane’s free jazz; America’s music has been developed and refined countless times through individual experimentation and innovation. In my opinion the most noteworthy artist in the
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Many of the clubs had a tradition of “walking the bar” (to walk on top of the bar while playing one’s instrument). Coltrane was embarrassed having to go through this custom every night. This give him a negative image about himself and is abilities His self-esteem was crushed even further when critics said his music was too bizarre. Soon Coltrane became very depressed, and searching for a way out, he turned to heroin. Heroin was a very popular drug among black musicians in the forties. It was a form of escape that, at first, brought them together, but in the end triggered lives and careers to collapse.
Coltrane was invited to play in Dizzy Gillespie’s his big band in ‘49. Gillespie had been a very significant figure in the bebop movement. Bebop was a style of jazz, popular during the late thirties and forties. It was characterized by integrating faster tempos, and more complex phrases than the jazz of earlier years. Gillespie’s band offered
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some sense of stability for Coltrane for the first time in a long time. However, after a two-year stint with Gillespie, Coltrane kicked out due to his heroin addiction. Again, Coltrane was reduced to “walking the bar” at in sleazy clubs. He experienced another episode of depression, which caused his addiction to grow.
Again a jazz icon came to the rescue. This time it was Miles Davis. In…

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