John William Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. He went on to become one of the most famous jazz performers of the 50s and 60s. Early on, Coltrane got his start with music when his mother bought him a saxophone in his high school years. He later joined the Navy where he played with the swing band, the Melody Masters. When Coltrane left the Navy in the late 40s, the bebop genre was beginning to take over the music scene. He began touring and playing music with other popular jazz artists and bands at the time. Coltrane has noted this time as an essential part of his development as an upcoming jazz musician. It was during this time where he met and performed with artists such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. Soon, Coltrane began to step out on his own and at the end of the 1950s, he recored his first solo album. The album was critically acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. He was establishing himself as one of the greats and he began performing and recording with his own band. The early 60s became a defining moment in Coltrane’s career because he began to stray from his usual style and sound. He experimented with different instruments and genres which confused many critics and fans. However, this didn’t slow him down. He continued to experiment with different sounds and play with his band until his his death in 1967. Because of his contributions to music, Coltrane is still regarded as one of the best saxophonists of all time.