Quote # 52 by John Coltrane

Quote # 52 by John Coltrane

“When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people.”


– John Coltrane



This is the third time I write about my hero John Coltrane. My first post in Musiclover.se was about John Coltrane “Giant Steps”. If you are interested to read that post you can just make a search to the right. Write John Coltrane, Giant Steps or Naima and you will find the posts.


To start with I give you the possibility to listen to the full album “At Carnegie Hall” there John Coltrane is playing together with another music master – Thelonius Monk!


Hope you like the music as much as I do. An interesting thing is that the video “John Coltrane A True Innovator”, presented by Ralph J. Gleason, was presented through the NET channel (National Educational Television) to learn people in USA about jazz.



Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane – “At Carnegie Hall” (1957) / Full album

Track Listing

01 00:00 “Monk’s Mood”

02 07:51 “Evidence”

03 12:32 “Crepuscule With Nellie”

04 16:58 “Nutty”

05 22:01 “Epistrophy”

06 26:27 “Bye-Ya”

07 32:57 “Sweet & Lovely”

08 42:31 “Blue Monk”

09 49:01 “Epistrophy” (Incomplete)


Miles Davis & John Coltrane – “So What” (1959)

This piece of music is just absolutely fabulous and immortal!


John Coltrane A True Innovator, Part 1 (1963)

John Coltrane Quartet plays; “Afro Blue”, “Alabama” and “Impressions” Part 1


John Coltrane A True Innovator, Part 2 (1963)

John Coltrane Quartet plays; “Impressions” Part 2


Coltrane wrote the song ‘Alabama’ in response to the bombing. He patterned his saxophone playing on Martin Luther King’s funeral speech. Midway through the song, mirroring the point where King transforms his mourning into a statement of renewed determination for the struggle against racism, Elvin Jones’s drumming rises from a whisper to a pounding rage. He wanted this crescendo to signify the rising of the civil rights movement.

New Generation

Coltrane had already revolutionised jazz twice–the sheets of sound and his ‘classic quartet’ sound. He changed direction again with the recording of Ascension. He threw himself into the free jazz movement which was coalescing around a new generation of young musicians–Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler. The music was pure improvisation. Coltrane was now playing two hour long solos. The music was free from constraints and barriers. Coltrane began to introduce percussionists, harp players and African vocalists. He was creating a world music 25 years before the term was even coined. For some in the free jazz movement the musical revolution was purely artistic, but for many that aesthetic revolution was linked to the explosion sweeping the Northern cities.

Coltrane’s drummer, Rashid Ali, said as much: “Those were trying times in the 1960s. We had the civil rights thing going on, we had King, we had Malcolm, we had the Panthers. There was so much diversity happening. People were screaming for their rights and wanting to be equal, be free. And naturally, the music reflects the whole period… I think that that’s where really free form came into it… I’m sure that the music came out of the whole thing.”

As one club manager noted, ‘Whenever Coltrane played we seemed to attract the most politically advanced blacks. He’d take a long solo, probably close to an hour, and these guys would be shouting, “Freedom Now!”‘ King and the other leaders of the civil rights movement were left floundering as a new generation of leaders such as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers began to articulate the growing radicalisation of the movement. Coltrane heard Malcolm X speak in 1964.

Despite all their attempts, Coltrane and the free jazz musicians failed to become the musical voice of the movement. It was the sound of the Beatles and Motown that the youth bought into. Soul and rock expressed in a much more direct and dynamic way the spirit of the times. While jazz musicians codified their message, James Brown sang ‘Say it Loud–I’m Black and I’m Proud’ and Aretha Franklin demanded ‘Respect’.

That criticism is not in itself a reason to write off free jazz. It is an incredibly complex music, and the lack of melody can make it difficult to follow. But for any art form to move on it has to shock and it has to experiment. As is the case with much art that is regarded as avant garde, years later it becomes understood and familiar, and swiftly moves into the mainstream. Many of Coltrane’s musical ideas that shocked the music critics have today been incorporated into the jazz canon. Just listen to the music of Joshua Redman, Courtney Pine and Kenny Garret.

Sadly Coltrane died on 16 July 1967 aged 40 from the effects of liver cancer. So what does Coltrane offer us today? During his life the US was waging war against Vietnam. When he was asked for his opinion on the war, he replied, ‘Well I dislike war–period. So therefore, as far as I’m concerned it should stop, it should have already stopped. And any other war.’ Oh yes, and of course there is his wonderful life affirming music.


John Coltrane – Live in 1960, 1961 & 1965

Here are some fantastic historical moments I hope you take the time to go through!

This video about John Coltrane provides an epic 95-minute overview of a fantastic musician and great music. Three separate shows reveal Coltrane’s ascending creative arc from hard bop innovator as a member of the Miles Davis Quartet in 1960 to consummate bandleader in 1961 to unrivalled jazz visionary in 1965. This video do not only features Trane’s classic quartet with Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and McCoy Tyner (piano), but also spotlights him onstage with other jazz legends including Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy and Oscar Peterson. Includes mind-blowing versions of his signature tunes “My Favorite Things” and “Impressions”.

It’s hard to imagine that John Coltrane’s recording career lasted for only 12 years. He had an unending intellectual and spiritual quest through music. No one with such an extraordinary degree of talent worked as hard as Coltrane to master his instrument and to seek the deepest form of human expression through it.

During his active years, Coltrane was always unique and easy to identify. At the same time, he instantly evolved his style and way to communicate. The three performances on this video, show in dramatic relief the most important phases of his career.

These newly discovered 1960 performances with Miles Davis’s rhythm section find him near the end of that period, which gave us such masterpieces as “Mr. P.C.”, “Giant Steps” and Naima. Coltrane was anxious to form his own group and his final tour with Miles Davis was a favor to the trumpeter. His restlessness shows through in his playing here and elsewhere at the time. It is fascinating to hear him with one of his early idols Stan Getz and his playing seems to challenge Getz to a new level…

The 1965 Comblain-La-Tour concerts, providing some great visuals, allows us to see the group at the peak of its powers and near the end of its run. By the end of the year, McCoy and Elvin were gone and one of the most innovative and exciting ensembles in jazz was gone.



John Coltrane (Tenor & Soprano Sax)

Wynton Kelly (Piano)

Paul Chambers (Bass)

Jimmy Cobb (Drums)

with guests

Oscar Peterson (Piano)

Stan Getz (Tenor Sax)


On Green Dolphin Street


The Theme

Autumn Leaves

What’s New

Autumn In NY




John Coltrane (Tenor & Soprano Sax)

Eric Dolphy (Alto Sax & Flute)

McCoy Tyner (Piano)

Reggie Workman (Bass)

Elvin Jones (Drums)


My Favorite Things

Everytime We Say Goodbye




John Coltrane (Tenor & Soprano Sax)

McCoy Tyner (Piano)

Jimmy Garrison (Bass)

Elvin Jones (Drums)




My Favorite Things


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