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Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews
     

Coltrane on Coltrane: The John Coltrane Interviews

by Chris DeVito
 

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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

Overview

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this book includes every known Coltrane interview—many in new and more accurate transcriptions and several previously unpublished—as well as articles, reminiscences, liner notes, and personal correspondence with fans and journalists.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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556520044
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2012
Series:
Musicians in Their Own Words Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
289,847
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.84(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A fascinating and important compendium of the jazz icon's own words. . . . Through these gripping and revealing interviews, Coltrane comes alive. . . . Though many solid books have been written about 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."  —Library Journal

“The type of book that should be compiled on every great musician. It is an inspired concept that is perfectly done.”  —Los Angeles Jazz Scene

"From start to finish, it's nothing short of engrossing."  —Smooth magazine

“There’s plenty for a serious jazz fan to absorb from this interesting collection. . . . Coltrane’s own words about his music and life deserve our attention.”  —JazzTimes.com

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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