John Coltrane

Facts about John Coltrane

John Coltrane died at 40 years old
Died: July 17, 1967
Best known as: Innovative sax player and composer

Buy from Music by John Coltrane


John Coltrane Biography

American jazz great John Coltrane emerged in the 1950s, playing tenor and soprano sax with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. He is considered one of the greatest American musicians of the 20th century.

A leader of “hard bop”, in the 1960s he led his own groups and changed the face of jazz with experimentation and improvisation, his later recordings reflecting his belief that music was a form of spiritual expression.

Sometimes called simply ‘Trane, his recordings include Giant Steps (1959), My Favorite Things (1960), Olé (1961) and A Love Supreme (1964).

In his later recordings he collaborated on avante-garde music with his wife, Alice Coltrane (b. Alice McLeod, 1937-2007), who had a career in her own right.

Extra credit

The band sometimes called Coltrane’s “classic quartet” of the early 1960s included McCoy Tyner (piano), Elvin Jones (drums) and Jimmy Garrison (bass).


Related Biographies

Something in Common with John Coltrane