September 23, 1926
Hamlet, North Carolina
July 17, 1967 after suffering from a severe abdominal pain.
Contribution to Jazz Music:
He revolutionized jazz through his unique musical style and many musicians continue to imitate him to this day. He is known as the leading tenor saxophonist in jazz,
He grew up in High Point, North Carolina where at an early age he learned how to play the E-flat alto horn and clarinet. When he was 15, he took up playing the alto saxophone. His family moved to Philadelphia where he enrolled at the Ornstein School of Music and the Granoff Studios. Coltrane then served in a navy band in Hawaii. He switched from the alto to the tenor saxophone in 1947 to work with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson.
Coltrane made his first recording with Dizzy Gillespie in 1949. In 1953, he became a member of Johnny Hodges' septet. Two years after, in 1955, Coltrane leapt to fame while being a part of Miles Davis' quintet.
His album "A Love Supreme" was a celebration of his triumph over his personal struggles. He performed in Thelonious Monk's quartet on December 1957 then rejoined Davis and worked with other musicians. He formed his own group in 1960 and they made their debut at New York's Jazz Gallery.
He became addicted to drugs and alcohol during the 1950's and it greatly affected his profession. Coltrane serves as an inspiration as he successfully overcame his addictions and found personal and spiritual growth. His album, "A Love Supreme", is a testament of his triumph.
Coltrane continued to inspire his audience and fellow artists for all his efforts at supporting new musicians, his strong religious beliefs and his energetic and peaceful presence. He continued to forward jazz music until his death at the age of 40 due to liver problems.
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