John Coltrane

John William Coltrane, was an American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. He is considered an iconic figure of 20th century jazz.

Coltrane was at the of forefront of free jazz and helped pioneer the use of modes.

He also participated in Be Bop and hard bop idioms which is a subgenre of jazz that is an extension of bebop.

John studied clarinet and alto saxophone as a youth. He continued his studies at the Ornstein School of Music and the Granoff Studios. Through his work with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane established himself as his generation’s greatest saxophone player.
He was drafted into the navy in 1945 and played alto sax with a navy band. He switched to tenor saxophone in 1947.
He went on to play at nightclubs in the late 1940s and early ’50s. He was even on recordings with such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie and Johnny Hodges. Coltrane’s first recorded solo can be heard on Gillespie’s “We Love to Boogie” (1951).

Coltrane drew in the crowd with his vigorous and intense style. Although his early work focused on the standard repertoire common to most jazz artist at the time, his style evolved rapidly. As he experimented with new sounds his personnel frequently changed. 

Even as a solo artist, Coltrane was able to captivate crowds. His originality was evident on albums such as Giant StepsMy Favorite Things and A Love Supreme, among many others. There are still highly respected pieces of work today. 


“John Coltrane.”, A&E Networks Television, 2 Aug. 2019,

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “John Coltrane.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 6 Feb. 2020,

“Jazz Underground: Coltrane Legacy.” Jazz Underground: Coltrane Legacy | Music and Media,

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