Compatible Quotes: John Coltrane

My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being…When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.

Sometimes I wish I could walk up to my music for the first time, as if I had never heard it before. Being so inescapably a part of it, I’ll never know what the listener gets, what the listener feels, and that’s too bad.

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  1. Gary Foster says

    Following is a quote from John Coltrane I collected many years ago.

    “When you are playing with someone who really has something to say, even though they may be otherwise quite different in style, there’s one thing that remains constant. And that is the tension of the experience, that electricity, that kind of feeling that is a lift sort of feeling. No matter where it happens, you know when that feeling comes upon you, and it makes you feel happy.”—JOHN COLTRANE

  2. says

    Those famous quotes, how I love them, and how I hate them at the very same time. — Now, think about that for some seconds. — As Charlie Parker put it: “…they say music speaks louder than words, so we’d rather voice our opinion that way.” I think, no, I believe, a musician has to leave all those quotes behind. They hinder him. They interfere. Hey folks, let’s just practice our instruments, okay?

    As for religion, or the odd buzzword “spiritualism”: Coltrane searched for the unknown sound. He could spend hours, and hours playing only in C major, if you know what I mean. He was kinda obsessed, always trying, figuring it out, just like Benny Carter – in his comical way – was he always searching for the one note, or for the one moment when he would be able to play all the notes he heard at once, those important notes which would say it all. Once he told Miles: “I can’t stop playing.” And Miles? “Try taking the horn out of your mouth.”

    But it’s simply not possible, physically, to play all the notes you hear inside at once. Coltrane nevertheless attempted the impossible. When he plays the famous 17 minutes and 50 seconds on “Bye Bye Blackbird” (Stockholm, November 17, 1962), it sounds as if he would never breathe at all. It’s this endless flow of ideas, of sounds, of rhythms which will make that :17:50 go by so fast. I think it’s about time to listen to it once again.