Did you know that John Coltrane is a Saint? \\ 7 Interesting facts about the Jazz legend

July 2017 marks fifty years since the passing of legend John Coltrane. Here’s a few facts that will surprise newcomers to his music as well as the most dedicated fans.

1 \\ Coltrane is recognised for his innovative understanding of harmony, but he didn’t study it formally for very long. He quit school after a job offer from trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

2 \\ Coltrane recorded his first album as bandleader whilst sanctioned in Hawaii as oart of the Navy. This was ten years before the release of Coltrane, his first studio recording, in 1957.

3 \\ Like this wife Alice with Bud Powell, John Coltrane also took mentorship from a pianist; Thelonious Monk. In the same year that Coltrane was released, they together laid down The Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings. 

4 \\ John Coltrane is recognised for being a pioneer of Spiritual Jazz, although he didn’t enter this stage of his career until the last few years of his life. It was inspired by meeting one of his idols, sitar player Ravi Shankar.

5 \\ In his autobiography, Miles Davis commented on John Coltrane’s dedication to his music in a less than stereotypical way; “He couldn’t be seduced by a woman’s beauty because he has already been seduced by the beauty of music, and he was loyal to his wife [Alice]”.

Read Nine Interesting Facts about Alice Coltrane 

6 \\ In the mid-sixties, John Coltrane played a show that would immortalise him; at a Jazz workshop in San Francisco, he played for an audience who would be the eventual founders of the Church of Saint John Will-I-Am Coltrane. The Church is still running today, and Coltrane is on the official list of Saints. Will-I-Am is not.

7 \\ Despite passing at the tragically young age of 41, John Coltrane recorded an impressive discography, including 45 studio albums, 23 compilations albums, and 19 singles.

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JS | Tina Edwards 

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