23 September 2009

Dear John

Today is the 83rd anniversary of John Coltrane's birth. It has been over 40 years since he left us, but his influence is still felt as well as being a topic of debate. Earlier this week, Peter Hum pointed out that despite Coltrane's deification since his death, there are still critics who bemoan his influence on the saxophone and modern jazz. At A Blog Supreme, Patrick Jarenwattananon discussed the difficulties inherent in playing Coltrane's music, namely, "How do you learn from him, but not sound like him?" These are both interesting discussions, ones that Ben Ratliff engaged with in his recent Coltrane biography. I'd like to consider the question of Coltrane's influence a bit more, but I'll have to listen to a bunch of records and think about this for awhile. In the meantime, there is the music...

Photo via Jazz In PhOto

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