Welcome back readers! You may not know this, but April (other than being the month of practical jokes and tomfoolery) is Jazz Appreciation month. Now, if you’re a Vince Noir-type, please disregard this post and go ‘bout ya business. However, if you’ve found yourself yearning for a Jazz trance, then feast your ears on this:
That’s ol’ Johnny Coltrane for you folks not in the know. Specifically, it is one of his most famous recordings, “A Love Supreme”. For me, “A Love Supreme” shows the amazing transformative power of music in the lives of not only those that listen to the music, but those that perform it as well. John Coltrane is kind of infamous for his time in the Miles Davis Quintet, in which he was addicted to heroin and alcohol and was eventually fired from the group. It was after that time that John Coltrane found his spirituality again and was able to beat his addictions and produce this amazing work with his own quartet. Regardless of the religious connotations of “A Love Supreme”, this music was the culmination of his transformation and self-realization. For me, his work after his time with the Miles Davis Quintet is by far his most important in terms of musicianship and significance.
Sadly, John Coltrane passed away suddenly in 1967 at the age of 40 due to liver cancer. Even with his short career, his legacy lives on in Jazz music to this day. So, let us focus on what he and other Bebop Jazz musicians like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Mingus, and so many others did to elevate Jazz music to the explorative artform it is today.
Do you have a favorite Jazz musician? Let us know in the comments below.