Happy Birthday, John Coltrane (1926-1967)
As I think I've probably said before, John Coltrane -- without question -- belongs in a select category of jazz musicians (along with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis) who have profoundly changed and influenced improvisational style and technique. In recent years, countless books have been written about him, unreleased recordings and videos have been found and issued -- he's even received posthumous recognition from the Recording Academy and the Pulitzer Board. I talked a bit about him recently in reference to an article where Coltrane was a described as a "role model for today's celebrities", but I also recently found a fabulous article written by Coltrane himself on his own influences and development. I've probably listened to Coltrane's music as much as anybody over the years, starting with Giant Steps sometime in my junior high years, A Love Supreme and Blue Train among many others in college, and finally getting into Ascension, Om and so many more since then. It is with great reverence and humility that I say, Happy Birthday, John Coltrane -- your wisdom, dedication, and innovation are missed, but your spirit lives on. Enjoy the videos.