Friday, September 23

On this day...

On this day back in 1926, John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina. Trane is widely considered to be the greatest tenor saxophone player of the 1950's. Trane developed his own unique voice on the saxophone which Downbeat critic Ira Gitler termed "sheets of sound", which were extremely dense improvisational yet patterned lines consisting of high speed arpeggios and scale patterns played in rapid succession, running from the lowest to highest registers. In author Ben Ratliff's Coltrane: The Story of the Sound much is said about the strict practicing regimen Trane kept, sometimes practicing up to 8 hours a day! This discipline and beautiful playing is probably why he's the only jazz musician with a church, The St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in the Fillmore District of San Francisco. The inspiration for the church came one night in 1965 when Archbishop Franzo King and Reverend Mother Marina King saw Coltrane play and described the event as a "sound baptism". Coltrane would die just two years later from liver cancer, possibly onset by the addiction to heroin he had kicked years earlier. John's son Ravi is an accomplished saxophone player himself and will be performing for the next 3 nights at the legendary Village Vanguard in NYC, celebrating his father's birthday!

The Saxophone Saint:

Afro Blue '63:

Videos courtesy of Turnstyle Video and elmosaico

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