Today marks what would have been John Coltrane’s 88th birthday. In recognition, the extraordinary saxophonist Gary Bartz shares some of his thoughts about Trane:
“John Coltrane gave me an insight of how hard one needs to work in order to create music that has never been heard before. His work effort continues to inspire me. What a wonderful musical scientist he was. In order to compose music on the spot, one cannot leave any stone unturned. One lifetime is not long enough, so we do what we can in the time we have allotted for us. John did enough for several lifetimes. His ‘Giant Step’ changes were the first innovation since musicians learned how to use the cycle of fifths, which was at least a hundred years or more.
What a debt we owe him.
His ‘Chasin the Trane’ was very important to me for many reasons. Also, I love the ‘Ballads’ recording. ‘A Love Supreme’ made me realize that this music is really more gospel than any other category. It is hard to pick any one or two recordings, but these are still important to me.”