The thing about legends, is that they die too early. Some say that they only become legends because they died, but that’s a void statement. Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, their music is timeless, they were and remain the best. John Coltrane is no exception, probably the best saxophone player ever, yet what John Coltrane did to Jazz music, was that he was avant-guard, and experimented with musical innovation that was ahead of its time.
This book walks through John Coltrane’s humble beginnings as a child in North Carolina, Philadelphia, New York and his tour round the country and the world. A quiet man, he practiced endlessly,and from Lewis’ detailed chronology of Coltrane’s beginning, it clearly emerges that he was to become a great musician and composer, from training under Gillespie to the Miles Davis’ quintet, his music was influenced not only by these Jazz legends, but also by classical music, such as Stravinsky.
The book also walks through how Coltrane evolved from Alto to Tenor saxophonist. When he formed his own quartet, and his composition of Giant Steps, was the thing of legends. The author details the musician’s family and love life, to his battle with heroin addiction that was widespread in the jazz community, and eventually led to his death.