Modal Jazz Musician John Coltrane's influence on Jazz.

Essay by namesrniceHigh School, 10th gradeA+, July 2003

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On John Coltrane

John Coltrane was born on 23 September 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. It is highly unlikely that on this day the world realized what greatness had entered their presence. In 1943, Coltrane - or "Trane" as he was affectionately called - moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where his love of music reached new heights. In 1945 he was enlisted into the Navy (his term ended sometime in 1926) where he headed a popular Navy band. In 1949 he was asked to join Dizzy Gillespie's big band (where he would play the Alto Saxophone). In April of 1951 John Coltrane returned to Philadelphia for school. It would not be a stretch to say that John Coltrane was one of the most influential artists of the past 35 years as well as of all time.

Although not the most well-known of Jazz musicians (compared to others such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker), John Coltrane's influence on Jazz Music is undeniable.

He was able to revolutionize the music and make it more popular among newer and yougner demographics.

In October of 1960 John Coltrane released "My Favorite Things" from the smash-hit musical "The Sound of Music." This song became the most widely requested of his works and single-handedly revived the straight soprano saxophone. "My Favorite Things" still remains Coltrane's signature album. This composition uses a simple modal scale as the backdrop.

John Coltrane's music also had a political and spiritual aspect to it. This is quite evident from his tribute to the victims of the Sunday morning church bombing in Birmingham in 1963, "Alabama." Coltrane also directed his spiritual/religious dedication into his making of "A Love Supreme," which he recorded with such greats as Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, and McCoy Tynor. "A Love Supreme" is considered to be...