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Riley Music Academy Music Cast: Top 5 John Coltrane Moments

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John Coltrane’s Birthday

Yesterday would have been Coltrane’s birthday and after seeing all the posts and dedications on Facebook I thought I would share with you some of the special moments I’ve had with arguably the best tenor sax player there has ever been.

don’t usually use those sorts of phrases.  The ones like ‘best in the world’; it tends to detract from the content slightly as people start to think of others that would challenge.  Many regard Coltrane as the best there ever was because not many people can actually figure out what he was doing.  He was a true artist and many have spent their own lives studying his work.  Toward the end of his career he was moving so far out of reach of us mere mortals that he was (I admit) quite hard to listen to.  His ‘meditations’ were sonic explorations and his transcendence into another dimension moved way beyond the constraints of the human mind.  Whether you ‘get’ him or not, its well worth listening to some of his work and you can take from it what you like.  This post is about celebrating the music of a phenomenal musician and perhaps to spend a brief moment in our busy lives to listen to some great music, connect with the world and reflect.  If this all sounds a bit like a sermon then I’m sorry but actually its quite apt; although I do not follow a religion, I hugely respect the spiritual nature of Coltrane and it inspires me to be a better human being.  We all want that….right?  

1. My first selection is this Psalm taken from A Love Supreme.  I heard this and immediately connected with it.  When I read up about it I realised that he was actually speaking the words with his sax!  The hairs on the back of my neck still go crazy for this….

2.  Next up is the reason I got into jazz.  I first heard this when I was about 15 and it made me want to play saxophone (which was lucky because I’d already playing it for a few years).  It makes me think of another world and I often escape to it.
3.  A combination of two amazing, forward thinking musicians…
4.  Trane playing a standard….
5.  Switch off your judgment button and just just let this one in…
So there we go.  A few slightly obvious choices but pieces of music that connect with me and I hope they make your day.
Please feel free to post your experiences or questions – I read them all.

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