Trane at 86: The Enduring Sound and Timeless Spirit of John Coltrane
Nearly 50 years after John Coltrane left town—the preferred jazz-world euphemism for death—the man has never been more present. As we approach what would have been his 86th birthday on September 23, his stature, as a paragon of musical dedication and as a spiritual visionary, remains undiminished. “Trane” casts a long, tall, clearly defined shadow of influence. But it is his preacher-like saxophone sound—dark, intense, searching—that resonates loudest and remains most pervasive. Once heard, saxophonists seem unable to touch their instrument without quoting from his distinctive vocabulary; musicians of any instrument or genre are held in his sway. What was it about Coltrane that makes his influence deep and enduring? Why his music so easily recognized by musicians and music fans far beyond the jazz circle? Was it his distinctive musical path, the cause, or perhaps his spiritual focus?
Legendary journalist A. B. Spellman, who knew and witnessed Coltrane in his heyday; Chris Potter, one of the leading saxophonists in today’s jazz scene; and Ashley Kahn, author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album will address the lasting Coltrane phenomenon, with music, images, and video, as well as questions and comments from the audience.
Photo ©Burt Goldblatt