Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Jazz Legend John Coltrane

Few dispute that John Coltrane was the greatest jazz saxophonist that the world has seen. He was known for his lush tone and masterful control of the upper register. His incredible coordination allowed him to play the tones of chords in such rapid succession that they were referred to as “Coltrane’s sheets of sound.” Coltrane was innovative in his use of improvisation and arrhythmic music. There was no doubt that his childhood in High Point allowed his creative spirit to thrive.

John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, on September 23, 1926. His family moved to High Point when he was only 3 months old. Coltrane spent the first 17 years of his life in High Point at 118 Underhill Street. While at William Penn High School, he began playing the saxophone.

Coltrane moved to Philadelphia in 1943, where he studied music and made his professional debut. He moved from band to band, appearing with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic, and Thelonious Monk.

Although he gained recognition while playing with Miles Davis from 1955 to 1960, Coltrane quickly developed a devoted following when he formed his own quartet in 1960. Named “Jazzman of the Year” in 1965 by local and international critics, John Coltrane was just reaching his prime when he died July 17, 1967, at age 40, in Huntington, New York.

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