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"Trane '57: John Coltrane's Pivotal Year In Jazz"

ghost of miles

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In the liner notes to his 1964 masterpiece A Love Supreme, John Coltrane wrote, “During the year of 1957 I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life.” 1957 has become Year Zero in the Coltrane legend, a key turning point for the tenor saxophonist, then 30 and still in the throes of a debilitating drug addiction that had led Miles Davis to twice boot Coltrane out of his group. Throughout the course of this year Coltrane would kick his drug and alcohol habits, make his first recordings as a leader, and work extensively with jazz master Thelonious Monk. His playing brimmed with a new vitality as he began a rapid evolutionary development that would lead to his so-called “sheets of sound” technique and the compositional breakthroughs of Giant Steps in the next two years.


Trane ‘57 features music from John Coltrane’s Prestige leader debut Coltrane as well as his acclaimed Blue Train, his appearance on hardbop pianist Sonny Clark’s Sonny’s Crib, and studio and live dates with Thelonious Monk. In addition, we’ll hear Coltrane himself, speaking to fan August Blume in 1958 about his musical relationship with Monk and the changes he’d made the previous year in his personal life.


The program airs this evening at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville; it also airs Sunday evening at 10 EST on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. It will be posted for online listening Monday morning in the Night Lights archives.

Next week: "Ahmed Abdul-Malik."

Edited by ghost of miles
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