Traveling Band Member
Coltrane was a member of many great jazz bands during the 1940s and 50s. Coltrane spent time in Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s band, Jimmy Heath’s band, and working with Dizzy Gillespie. This time was also the beginning of his relationships with musicians Miles Davis and Duke Ellington.
In the early years of Coltrane’s career, he was infamous for his drug abuse and alcoholism. In 1954, Ellington heard about the talent of Coltrane and wanted the young saxophonist to temporarily replace Johnny Hodges in his band. However, Coltrane’s misuse of drugs led to his termination from Ellington’s orchestra. Even though this occurred, the two recorded an album released Sept. 26, 1962 entitled Duke Ellington and John Coltrane that puts to bed the past issues the two may have had.