It was 88 years ago the other day that John Coltrane was born. My first real encounter with Trane was in a shoebox hotel near Geneva airport. I had picked up his ‘Greatest Hits’ at the airport because it was cheap. And I felt I needed to discover for myself what all the fuss was about. Over the next few days I slipped other CDs into the computer, avoiding JC. At last, bored with the other discs, I thought, well let’s give this a whirl.
Within a very short period of time I stopped whatever it was I was doing and reached for the CD case. I gazed at it, as if it were a piece of moon rock fallen on my head. It was silly, trying to find the source of the sound in the case, but I felt I had to grasp Coltrane in my hands. What I’m trying to say that I’d never experienced anything like this before. The pulse and urgent breath that came through his saxophone so moved me; it was as if Trane had come alive in that tiny square room. I needed to connect my hands to what my hearing sense was experiencing and what my eyes longed to see.
There are people who worship Coltrane as not just a musical genius but a Prophet of Spirit. Churches congregate in his name. His works have become scriptural texts. And I can understand why. Coltrane is the only musician whose music has been able to provide real evidence that there is nothing the separates the man from the music. Its not that he is ‘one WITH the music’ or instrument, but the music is HIM.
So in a humble honouring of the greatest jazz player I share with you this recent article and interview on the making of Love Supreme, Coltrane’s living sacrifice to Oneness.
- Resolution #4 Psalm