9 Little Known Facts About Jazz Great John Coltrane

Celebrating the Life and Work of John Coltrane

(Sept. 23, 1926-July 17, 1967)

john_coltrane_order_is_everythingEarly Life

Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina during the height of lynching and segregation. At a young age, Coltrane’s father got him into music by introducing him Lester Young and Count Bassie and teaching him how to play a variety of instruments. At 13, Coltrane focused on perfecting his ability on the saxophone and he never stopped.


John Coltrane at the Guggenheim, New York, 1960

First Real Gig 

After moving to Philadelphia in 1943, Coltrane joined the Navy. While stationed in Hawaii, he made his album as a member of the Navy band. This nameless album predates his first studio record Coltrane (1957) by a decade.  According to Allmusic.com, “the thick unified sound of Coltrane (tenor sax), Splawn (trumpet), and Shihab (baritone sax)  presents a formidable presence as they blow the minor-chord blues chorus together before dissolving into respective solos.” The album was his first record as a band leader.

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