John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 — July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Though he was active before 1955, his prime years were between 1955 and 1967, during which time he reshaped modern jazz and influenced generations of other musicians.
Along with tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Sonny Rollins, Coltrane fundamentally altered expectations for the instrument. Coltrane received a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his “masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz.”
Coltrane’s recording rate was astonishingly prolific: he recorded about fifty recordings as a leader in these twelve years and appeared on many more led by other musicians.
Throughout his career Coltrane’s music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension that would color his legacy.
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