John Coltrane Reflection

When first seeing the film, I did not know who John Coltrane was.  I never really studied jazz music or even gave it a chance to listen to the genre of music.  But after finishing the film, I learned much about the culture and his lifestyle.  I was amazed to see how many people witnessed his growth in music and personal life.  John Coltrane was a talented musician born in Harlem, NC, in 1926.  He grew up in a black church community.  After high school, he moved to Philadelphia in 1943 with his mother to study music.

            Music has a different meaning to different genres of music.  Black music was a black response to being terrified and traumatized.  “Black folks used their pain to cultivate their art,” stated Bill Clinton.  When Coltrane started playing music, he would play the clarinet but then switched to alto saxophone.  When playing music, he did not have a style of playing.  He would join multiple groups to play music even if he disagreed with their music style.  He just wanted to learn more about music.

            While playing music in his early life, he was addicted to the needle and was an alcoholic, but people didn’t know at the beginning because he was so “sweet.” He was quiet and never spoke much unless he used his mouth to play the saxophone.  Coltrane joined Dizzy’s band, which was a big career move, but eventually burned that bridge.  He was kicked off the band and begged to join again after being caught high with the needle.  They let him join back, but it only lasted a few months.  In 1957, he had a spiritual awakening, quit cold turkey with drugs, and eventually moved to NYC after being clean.

            Following his triumphant recovery from addiction, John Coltrane’s music career underwent a profound transformation, marked not only by his virtuoso saxophone performances but also by his emergence as a prolific composer.  This period saw a remarkable evolution in his artistic expression, characterized by newfound clarity and a deep spiritual connection.  Collaborating with his iconic quartet, Coltrane produced groundbreaking albums such as “A Love Supreme” and “Ascension,” showcasing his exceptional abilities as a saxophonist and composer.  His compositions, infused with spirituality and innovation, have left an indelible mark on jazz, solidifying his status as one of its most influential and revered figures.

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