September 23, 1926 – John Coltrane, American saxophonist and composer.
“Trane” worked in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, and helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and was later at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions during his career, and appeared as a sideman on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonius Monk.
As his career progressed, Coltrane and his music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. Coltrane influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant saxophonists in music history. He received many posthumous awards and recognitions, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church as Saint John William Coltrane and a special Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane and their son Ravi is also a saxophonist.
Shown here today is a First Day Cover with a very nice cachet picturing Trane with a soprano sax. The 32-cent stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1995 as part of its Jazz Musicians series. Also shown is the cover of one of Trane’s more spiritual works, “A Love Supreme”. My dear friend Arthur Fowler introduced me to this record and I am forever grateful to him for doing so. It remains as one of my favorite jazz recordings of all time.