Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews


Spanning a body of work that stands with the greatest of the 20th century, this autobiographical perspective of John Coltrane reveals the quiet man behind the fiery music through interviews, liner notes, personal correspondence, and more. As complete a record as possible, this book includes every known Coltrane interview—many in new and more accurate transcriptions and several previously unpublished—as well as articles, reminiscences, liner notes, and personal correspondence with fans and journalists. A...

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Spanning a body of work that stands with the greatest of the 20th century, this autobiographical perspective of John Coltrane reveals the quiet man behind the fiery music through interviews, liner notes, personal correspondence, and more. As complete a record as possible, this book includes every known Coltrane interview—many in new and more accurate transcriptions and several previously unpublished—as well as articles, reminiscences, liner notes, and personal correspondence with fans and journalists. A truly intimate portrait of a dedicated musician, this compilation of his wise words on improvisation, music, and life show why the man and his music continue to inspire devotion, adoration, and joy nearly 50 years after his death.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Born on September 23, 1926, in Hamlet, N.C., John Coltrane came from a musical family. His father played the violin and ukulele as a hobby, and his mother, who wanted to become a concert singer, played the piano and sang in the church choir. He didn't study music seriously until after high school; after a brief stint in the navy in 1945-1946, where he played with the navy band, he was soon playing tenor and alto sax and clarinet in a band that included Eddie Vinson, Red Garland, and Johnny Coles; he joined Dizzy Gillespie's band and by the mid-1950s was playing with Miles Davis before embarking on his own storied career. Although this collection of interviews--some of them published for the first time--is repetitious, DeVito's (The John Coltrane Reference) volume at least lets Coltrane tell his own story in his own words. The highlight of the entire collection comes from a 1966 Newsweek article in which Coltrane declares: "My goal is to live the truly religious life and express it in my music. My music is the spiritual expression of what I am--my faith, my knowledge, my being." (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Coltrane on Coltrane is a winning idea made accessibly real, revealing the gentle, thoughtful, deeply modest man behind the jazz genius and tenor titan.” —Ashley Kahn, author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album

“This is not just another volume about this creative genius. All of Coltrane’s published interviews are here, but DeVito reveals his own creativity by transcribing audio interviews and locating letters, newspaper articles, and other rarities to complete this picture of the man. The result is an essential item for your bookshelf.” —Lewis Porter, jazz pianist, educator, and author of John Coltrane: His Life and Music

"This eye-opening book .  . . offers one of the most complete pictures of [Coltrane's] jazz-defining body of recordings and all too short life."  —ArtVoice

Library Journal
DeVito, coauthor of the award-winning discography/chronology/commentary The John Coltrane Reference, expands upon his previous work with this fascinating and important compendium of the jazz icon's own words. He comprehensively compiles all the known interviews of Coltrane, some familiar and others previously unpublished or published only in French, Japanese, or British journals. He also includes articles and liner notes that quote the tenor sax giant extensively, a few of Coltrane's personal writings, and reminiscences from a childhood friend. He arranges the material in chronological order, allowing readers to see clearly the evolution of Coltrane's music from his chordal sheets of sound to his modal period to his free explorations. Through these gripping and revealing interviews, Coltrane comes alive as a serious, compulsive innovator who desperately wanted to communicate his philosophical underpinnings and feelings to his audience.Verdict Though many solid books have been written about Coltrane—from J.C. Thomas's Chasin' the Trane (1975) to Ben Ratliff's recent Coltrane—this compilation of source materials provides an intimate view of the man and his music. Certainly one of the best music books of the year.—Dave Szatmary, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556520044
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 297,365
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris DeVito, a freelance writer and copy editor, is the lead author of The John Coltrane Reference, named the BBC’s jazz book of the year in 2008.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface xv

Prelude: "A Statement of Musical Purpose" 1

Part 1 1952 to 1960

"The Afro Goes to a Be-Bop Concert" Rufus Wells 5

Interview with John Coltrane August Blume 9

Correspondence with Fans Crosby K. Coltrane John Coltrane Norman Klein 31

Correspondence with Journalist Bob Snead Bob Snead John Coltrane 35

Letter to Dickson Debrah Kisai John Coltrane 39

"Trane on the Track" Ira Gitler 41

"Jazz Profile: John Coltrane—a Dedicated Musician" Bob Snead 45

"Honest John: The Blindfold Test" Leonard Feather 47

Giant Steps liner Notes Nat Hentoff 51

Interview with John Coltrane Carl-Erik Lindgren 55

"The John Coltrane Story" As told to Björn Fremer 61

"Coltrane on Coltrane" John Coltrane Don DeMicheal 65

Part II 1961 to 1962

"Coltrane—Man and Music" Gene Lees 75

Interview with John Coltrane Ralph J. Gleason 81

"Countdown at Abart's: New King of Jazz Taking Blight Here" Tony Gieske 85

"Accent on Jazz: The King Wears a Cockeyed Crown" Tony Gieske 87

"Finally Made" Newsweek 91

Africa/Brass Liner Notes Dom Cerulli 93

"Theatre Notes: Jazz Masters at Lunch" Paul Adams 95

Interview with John Coltrane Benoit Quersin 97

"Live" at the Village Vanguard Liner Notes Nat Hentoff 105

'Td Like to Return to Britain—and rd Like to Play Your Clubs" John Coltrane tells Bob Dawbarn 109

"Conversation with Coltrane" Valerie Wilmer 113

"John Coltrane Talks to Jazz News" Kitty Grime 119

"John Coltrane: A Modern Faust' J.-C. Dargenpierre 123

"John Coltrane: An Interview" François Postif 129

Interview with John Coltrane Claes Dahlgren 137

"Jazzman of the Year: John Coltrane" Barbara Gardner 139

"John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy Answer the Jazz Critics" Don DeMicheal 149

Letter to Don DeMicheal John Coltrane 159

"On the Town: Coltrane's Back Better than Ever" Tony Gieske 163

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane Liner Notes Stanley Dance 167

Interview with John Coltrane Jean Clouzet Michel Delorme 169

Interview with John Coltrane Benoit Quersin 185

Interview with John Coltrane Michiel de Ruyter 191

Part III 1963 to 1967

"After Dark: His Solos Run 45 Minutes Long" Ken Barnard 199

"The Trane Bolls In to Create a Miniature UN" Bob Hunter 201

"John Coltrane—'Trane'" (Part 1) Randi Hultin 205

Interview with John Coltrane Michel Delorme Jean Clouzet 211

"Coltrane: Next Thing for Me—African Rhythms" Ray Coleman 217

"The Jazz Bit: A Chat with John Coltrane" Louise Davis Stone 221

"Coltrane Shaping Musical Revolt" Leonard Feather 223

A Love Supreme Liner Notes John Coltrane 225

"John Coltrane" Joe Goldberg 229

"Dropping the Ball and Chain from Jazz" Michael Hennessey 237

"Coltrane, Star of Antibes: 'ICan't Go Farther'" Michel Delorme Claude Lenissois 241

Interview with John Coltrane Michiel de Ruyter 247

"John Coltrane—'Trane'" (Part 2) Randi Hultin 255

Meditations Liner Notes Nat Hentoff 263

Interviews with John Coltrane Shoichi Yui Kiyoshi Koyama Kazuaki Tsujimoto, et al 265

Interview with John Coltrane Frank Kofsky 281

Live at the Village Vanguard Again! Liner Notes Nat Hentoff 319

"John Coltrane: My Impressions and Recollections" Babatunde Olatunji 323

Kulu Sé Mama Liner Notes Nat Hentoff 329

"Trane's Gone" Herb O'Brien 331

Quotable Coltrane 333

Coda: Trane's Three Wishes 339

Appendix A Interview with Franklin Brower C. O. Simpkins 341

Appendix B Interview with Isadore Granoff Steve Provizer 371

Credits 375

Index 381

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