John Coltrane, b. Sept. 23, 1926

September 23, 2019
Posted by Jay Livingston

My first year at college, I shared a tiny room with quiet somewhat strange guy from Denver whose choice in records seemed to be based on how impressive the music was as audio. (“High fidelity” records and equipment were still relatively new in those days.) The Soviet Army chorus, E. Power Biggs playing some world-famous organ, an “1812 Overture” with lots of cannons, that sort of thing.

But he also had a copy of Soultrane. I had plenty of Coltrane on my Miles Davis records, including Milestones, which it turns out was recorded only three days before Soultrane. But this was the first Coltrane-as-leader record I’d encountered. I listened to it over and over.

This Coltrane birthday post should probably feature “Giant Steps,” or “My Favorite Things,” or “A Love Supreme” — recordings that clearly mark him as perhaps the most important jazz figure of the 1950s and 60s. But I’m going with side one, track one of Soultrane, Tadd Dameron’s tune “Good Bait.”

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