John Coltrane

Who Is John Coltrane?

Early Life

John William Coltrane, known as John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. Coltrane was a well known saxophonist and composer. His father was a tailor and part time musician. At a young age, Coltrane studied clarinet and alto saxophone. In 1945, Coltrane was drafted into the Navy and played in a navy band as alto soophonist for a year until 1946.

Career

John William Coltrane, known as John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. Coltrane was a well known saxophonist and composer. His father was a tailor and part time musician. At a young age, Coltrane studied clarinet and alto saxophone. In 1945, Coltrane was drafted into the Navy and played in a navy band as alto soophonist for a year until 1946.

Love Supreme (1965)

Overview

In 1965, Coltrane released his album Love Supreme, although he recorded it the previous year in 1964. The album is split into 4 sections: Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance, and Psalm 4. Love Supreme was released by Impluse! Records. Coltrane sturggled with issues such as drug and alcohol addiction. This album was his way of expressing his new spiritual journey with God. The album was included in Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s “Treasure of American History” collection. In 2016, Love Supreme was selected to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. 

Section 4: “Psalm”

I liked each section of the album, but the fourth section stuck with me the most. The other three sections were too upbeat for my liking. I’m not a fan of jazz when it involves too much freestyle, I like when it’s calm and limited amount of instruments played at once. In the fourth section it felt deep, like Coltrane was expressing more emotion then the other parts. I don’t listen to much jazz but it felt like he was speaking his pain through the music. It felt somber, like the music played in movies during the sad and intense scenes. The entire album was great but I especially liked the fourth part. My favorite moment of the entire album was in the first section when he said “love supreme” repeatedly. I thought it was nice to hear his voice because in many jazz songs you don’t actually hear the players speak, it was a nice touch.

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