On Writing a Life of Coltrane

June 6, 2014

A few years ago I found a used, first-edition hardcover of Dr. Cuthbert Ormond Simpkins’s 1975 book, Coltrane: A Biography, online for $150. I had long admired its feverish, street-pulpy story about the saxophonist John Coltrane, whose powerful music increasingly seemed capable of altering one’s consciousness before he died in 1967, at age forty. Posthumously, the mythology and exaltation of Coltrane, as well as his musical influence, only grew. But by that point, Simpkins had already researched and written Coltrane’s story, expressing an uncompromising, unapologetic black voice rarely found in the annals of jazz before or since.

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Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home

September 21, 2013

Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home
Benefit planned to open residence where “A Love Supreme” was written to the public

By Emily Hutton

The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, N.Y., where the late saxophonist John Coltrane lived from 1964-67, Long Island has long been deemed historic. The Long Island home is not only where Coltrane and his wife, Alice, raised their children, but it is also where Coltrane composed A Love Supreme. Now, according a press release, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Coltrane residence “one of the most endangered historic places in the country,” and Carlos Santana and friends are stepping in to help.

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Coltrane’s ‘Afro Blue Impressions’ to be reissued

July 28, 2013

Concord to Reissue Coltrane’s ‘Afro Blue Impressions’ with Bonus Tracks
Expanded edition marks 50th anniversary of original recording dates

By Jeff Tamarkin

Concord Music Group will reissue a remastered and expanded edition of John Coltrane’s Afro Blue Impressions album on August 20. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, three bonus tracks, and new liner notes, the new reissue celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, the jazz label founded by Norman Granz in 1973.

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Coltrane’s Complete Sun Ship Sessions

May 31, 2013

“Sun Ship: The Complete Session”: John Coltrane’s Musical Documentary
Posted by Richard Brody

The release of alternate takes has special significance in jazz, for obvious reasons. Even though no performance of composed music is precisely repeatable—and loving classical music implies being keenly sensitive to the shuddering sublimity of the moment’s unique inspiration—the variety in improvised performances from take to take or set to set is likely to be even greater, and, with the most original musicians, what emerges from the vaults is often revelatory.

So it is with “Sun Ship: The Complete Session,” a newly released two-CD set of recordings by John Coltrane and his “classic quartet” of McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums).

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Stevie Wonder plays John Coltrane

July 18, 2011

Here’s Stevie Wonder doing Giant Steps.

Brilliant as always.