Jazz Icons: John Coltrane provides an epic 95-minute overview of a true giant of 20th-century music. Three separate shows reveal Coltrane's ascending creative arc from hard bop innovator in 1960 to consummate bandleader in 1961 to unrivalled jazz visionary in 1965. Part of the Coda Gone Too Soon Theme.
How often, in a pre-meme age, was it possible to track the evolution of a language? There are many possible answers to that rhetorical, and one resides here: in a small cache of footage depicting John Coltrane at three pivotal moments in the first half of the 1960s. Coltrane — the magnificent tenor and soprano saxophonist, indefatigable bandleader-composer and insatiable creative pathfinder — compressed a lifetime’s worth of artistic development into his tragically brief career.
In countless ways, a band or vocal group is like a family. Sometimes these artistic fraternities involve actual family members, and then the process of making music becomes really personal. Such relationships can underpin levels of intimacy and communication that elevate the songs. They can also lead to the kind of squabbles that tear bands apart. Either way, family bands provide a fascinating window into the ups and downs of musical collaboration.
Groundbreakers innovate and originate. They’re the artists by whom we measure music’s before-and-after evolution. There was reggae before Lee “Scratch” Perry and reggae music after Lee “Scratch” Perry, acid-rock before and after Pink Floyd, guitar playing before and after Jimi Hendrix. They’re among the groundbreakers who build new roads for all who come after to travel.