Essay on John Coltrane

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John Coltrane


John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926, in Hamlet, North Carolina. This particular day had important astrological significance. It was the day of the autumn equinox, one of only two days through the year where night and day are perfectly equal (Fraim 7).
Shortly after his birth, Coltrane's family moved to High Point, North Carolina. He lived in a nice neighborhood sharing a house with his mom and dad, aunt and uncle and cousin, and his grandparents, the Blairs (7). Even at an early age it was obvious that religion was important to Coltrane. He would listen to his grandfather, Reverend Blair, preach at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church on Sunday mornings (7).
When Coltrane was older he also
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Lateef was a part of the band for only a short time. He sparked Coltrane's interest in philosophy and religion. He also introduced him to authors like Kahlil Gibran and suggested he read the Koran (17).
During this time Coltrane's heroin addiction increased. Once, while on tour with Gillespie's band, Coltrane passed out and had to be revived by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by another band member (18). He pawned items for money to buy drugs, and he would many times show up late for gigs. At a show in Canada, Coltrane didn't even show up (19). He finally left the band in May 1950 (Wild).
Although John Coltrane turned to drugs and alcohol during much of the 1950s, some positive things also happened in his life (Ressner 122). He began to focus on education in the early 1950s, particularly ejoying philosophy. He played in clubs such as Cafe Society and Joe Pitt's Musical Bar to bring in some money (Fraim 21).
Coltrane joined the Earl Bostic band in 1952. Bostic knew a great deal about the saxophone, and Coltrane benefited from his knowledge (21). He learned about fingering techniques and also Bostic's sound which differed from most saxophonists of that time (22).
After leaving Bostic's band, Coltrane joined an old idol of his, Johnny Hodges, in 1953. Coltrane learned new styles from Hodges. He learned styles of stretching the notes, lingering, and caressing them. This was a very…

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