John Coltrane - WXPN
Where They’re From: Philadelphia, PA
Who They Are: A saxophonist, composer, band leader, and visionary who would change the shape of jazz in the 20th Century, John Coltrane learned his instrument as a humble teenager living with his family in 1940s Philadelphia. He began performing in the city’s post-WWII jazz scene, and expanding his reach up the east coast, hustling to New York to play in ensembles with Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis and returning to his Strawberry Mansion home the next day. Though he struggled with addiction in his 20s, getting sober made him refocus and double-down on his dedication to his craft. From here the music flowed out, and the 1960s were a wildly prolific period for Coltrane, with the intensely spiritual A Love Supreme being his career apex. He passed away from liver cancer in 1967 at age 40.
Years Active: 1945 – 1967
Essential Albums: Blue Train (1958), Giant Steps (1960), A Love Supreme (1965)