John Coltrane (1926–1967)


23rd September 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, USA.

John Coltrane’s grave in Farmingdale


17th July 1967 on Long Island, New York, USA.


Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.

Some well-known pieces:
  • Moment’s Notice.
  • Lazy Bird.
  • Naima. (See below for a video.)
  • Impressions.
Some great albums:
  • Traneing In (1957).
  • Blue Train (1957).
  • Giant Steps (1959).
  • My Favorite Things (1960).
  • Live at the Village Vanguard (1961).
  • A Love Supreme (1964).
  • Live at the Village Vanguard Again! (1966).
Some interesting facts:
  • He was one of the greatest saxophone players in the history of jazz!
  • He has has a big influence on jazz and saxophone playing.
  • He worked with many famous jazz musicians, such as Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk.
  • He was the tenor saxophone player on the best selling jazz album of all time, ‘Kind of Blue’ (see the Miles Davis page).
  • His own album ‘A Love Supreme’ is also one of the best selling jazz albums of all time too!
  • He played many different types of jazz. However he is especially well-known for his ‘free jazz’. [Free jazz sounds ‘free’—it sounds much more made up as the players go along than other types of jazz.]
  • Unlike a lot of jazz artists, he was quite shy. He did not like being the leader. However he did form his own group in 1960.
  • In the late 1950s he often played very very quickly—up to 1000 notes per minute!!! Some people have described this sort of playing by John Coltrane as &#8216sheets of sound’.
  • He had the nickname ‘Trane’.
  • He helped a lot of younger jazz musicians.
Official Website

Here is a video of the John Coltrane Quartet playing Naima (a quartet is a group of four musicians playing together). John Coltrane is the man playing the saxophone.

The John Coltrane Quartet playing ‘Naima’

And here is a video of them playing Alabama.

The John Coltrane Quartet playing ‘Alabama’

Picture credits:
  1. John Coltrane. John Coltrane in 1960, photographed by photographer Francis Wolff. The photograph was used as the photo background for the John Coltrane page on iTunes . Click here for the source of this image, along with the relevant copyright information. The image is used here in the same fair manner as the source.
  2. John Coltrane’s grave in Farmingdale. This photograph was taken by an anonymous photographer. I would have asked for permission to use the image here if I knew who the photographer was. Click here for the source of this image.
Video credits:
  1. John Coltrane – Naima. John Coltrane Quartet – Naima (live 1965)
  2. John Coltrane Alabama Jazz Casual.