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John Coltrane

John William Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. At the age of three his family moved to High Point, NC, where young Coltrane spent his early years. His father, John Robert Coltrane, died in 1939, leaving twelve year-old John and his mother on their own. His mother, Alice Blair Coltrane, moved to New Jersey to work as a domestic while John completed high school. John played first the clarinet, then alto saxophone in his high school band. His first musical influence was the tenor saxophonist Lester Young of Count Basie's band. In June of 1943, after graduation, Coltrane moved to Philadelphia to be closer to his mother. After a yearlong stint in the Navy (1945-46), Coltrane began playing gigs in and around Philadelphia

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2000. In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Alice Coltrane: In the Spirit

Read "Alice Coltrane: In the Spirit" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in December 2002. Alice Coltrane walked out onstage, joining an ensemble led by her son Ravi on a recent and historic night at Joe's Pub. The bassist Darryl Hall played an immediately recognizable four-note line and the group (also featuring drummer E.J. ...

Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones

Read "Composer Tributes: Strayhorn, Shorter, Monk and Sam Jones" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

There always seem to be albums coming out that pay tribute to accomplished jazz composers. Here are some newer ones, three on very familiar names and one on an often overlooked musician. John Di Martino Passion Flower: The Music of Billy Strayhorn Sunnyside Records 2020 Pianist John ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lakecia Benjamin: Pursuance: The Coltranes

Read "Pursuance: The Coltranes" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Over the years, there have been many recorded tributes to John Coltrane but saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin takes the concept farther by paying homage to the work of both John and his wife, Alice Coltrane. Benjamin plays their compositions in a wide range of settings with a large cast of musicians, including a couple who actually worked ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Robby Ameen: Diluvio

Read "Diluvio" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It's a given that wherever Grammy-winning drummer Robby Ameen goes, irrepressible rhythm is sure to follow. Diluvio, Ameen's third album as leader of his own ensemble, is clearly no exception to the rule. Ameen's half-dozen compositions are intrepid and lively, and even Gerry Mulligan's “Line for Lyons" and John Coltrane's “Impressions," which seal the album, are ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

New Faces - New Sounds

Read "New Faces - New Sounds" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Jazz is littered with musicians like Elmo Hope: young, talented and, ultimately, doomed because of racism, poverty, and chemical dependency. Born in jny: New York City, the son of immigrants from the Caribbean, Hope managed to release more than a baker's dozen of studio recordings in as many years, before dying of drug addiction-related health problems ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Benjamin Boone: Joy

Read "Joy" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Benjamin Boone's set with this band born and grown in Ghana is a genuine cross-cultural jazz Joy. The seeds of Joy were planted when composer-saxophonist Boone spent a year as a US Fulbright Scholar in Ghana in sabbatical from his professorship at California State University (Fresno), to study the country's music and musical traditions. ...

Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums

Read "Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records: Ten High Altitude Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Bob Thiele is best remembered for his years as the artistic director and house producer of Impulse!. He took over from founder producer Creed Taylor in 1961 and stayed with the label until 1969, when he left to run his own Flying Dutchman Records. Thiele's tenure at Impulse! was its most glorious period, when Thiele curated ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Robby Ameen: Diluvio

Read "Diluvio" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Perhaps it's a flood of rhythm that the title and cover art refer to on this third leader outing from drumming dynamo Robby Ameen. A heavy hitter in Afro-Cuban circles for decades, Ameen's frangible linear Latin funk workouts, intricate rhythmic roadmapping, song-serving chops and good taste have earned him an overwhelmingly positive reputation. Everybody from musical ...


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