erik_squires here is an article aimed at the Coltrane-curious, like you with accompanying Spotify playlists: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/nemw88/john-coltrane-guide-essay-streaming.
- 170 posts total
- 170 posts total
As someone who loves everything about music but really is not educated in music in any way, Coltrane respect did not come until after years of exploring jazz. I started with Kenny Burrell and bought everything I could where he was sitting in. I could understand Kenny immediately it was several years before my untrained ear and my scrambled brain was able to hear the musical picture Coltrane was creating. The Coltrane documentary also helped me understand a little bit of what was going on with him as he was creating it. After 10 years of jazz exploration, Coleman Hawkins and Kenny Burrell are my go to’s over Miles Davis and Coltrane, although I understand the credit these gentlemen have and deserve. Just as Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd pushed the bounds of rock, I rarely put them on for everyday listening.
Coltrane typically modulates key changes differently than other Jazz players (major thirds). His progressions are often called “Coltrane changes”. Search for an explanation of “Coltrane changes” on YouTube and watch a video or two. After that, you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on in his music. With that understanding under your belt, the music should (hopefully) sound more accessible
Are there other jazz saxophonists that you like? Maybe start with some folks that are within the genre of jazz that you enjoy and maybe down the road, you will like Coltrane more? Maybe try Sonny Rollins? Saxophone Colossus, Way Out West, The Sound of Sonny. I'm a jazz musician and I love Coltrane but find his later output to be very difficult and I have to be in just the right mood.
I believe that jazz is a language. The more you are immersed the more you understand. It's like going to a foreign country where you don't speak the language. At first everything is noise and nonsense but then you start to hear a word or two that you understand and things eventually start to make sense. I think it's well worth the effort but, music is about enjoyment and if you don't like something, you shouldn't force yourself just because people told you you should