Thursday, September 07, 2006
What if Coltrane Had Lived?
John Coltrane's birthday is coming up - September 23 was his birth date. I am spending quite a bit of time listening to Coltrane's music, and realizing that I don't have enough Coltrane music in my collection.
So If 'Trane was still alive, he would be 80 years old. He would be about as old as Oscar Peterson, Von Freeman, Tony Bennett, B.B. King, and a host of active musical octogenarians. Would he be mining the nostalgia circuit or still pushing the envelope?
John Coltrane struggled in his life, with heroin addiction, with racism, with the technical demands of the music he heard in his head. He was 40 years old when he passed - died of liver cancer, very suddenly (he checked into a hopsital one Sunday evening in 1967 and was dead the next day). His greatness had been visible since his early 20's, and I think it ould have grown if he had not been snatched away. If 'Trane had lived, I am sure the musical universe would sound different than it does today.