There is in every person something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in herself…
There is in you something that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. Nobody like you has ever been born and no one like you will ever be born again – you are the only one. And if you miss the sound of the genuine in you, you will be a cripple all the rest of your life, because you will never be able to get a scent on who you are.
- Howard Washington Thurman
Baccalaureate Address – Spelman College, May 4, 1980
Returning from Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, the hub of the American project’s origins, and a current symbol of it’s trajectory, has left me in a place where the silence of introspection that has sought to find a place in my life post graduation has finally – after all this time – found itself realized.
Throughout the duration of my final year in undergraduate, involvement in multiple student organizations, multiple/simultaneous places of employment, rugby, academia – both in class and extracurricular, working on my first publication, and traveling for conferences kept me very (very) busy. Though being busy is not a sure indicator of productivity, and I’m not sure enough of it’s merit to defend busyness as a prerequisite of productivity, I was surely busy. The primary reason being that I was playing “catch-up,” insofar as when it came to my younger years, the beginning of undergraduate, the time spent on introspection with the goal of tangible success was lacking, immensely.
Of the consortium of students that the school system deemed worthy of investing it’s limited resources in, most of us began to find ourselves fiscally, academically, and maturity-wise, lacking in the ability to function in a way that lends itself to sustainable success in the classroom. The good number of us that made it through undergraduate, made it through just barely by the skin of our teeth. This can be said of a great number young adults, but, unlike those who have the space to recoup from mistakes they make in school and in life, most of which being the price to be paid for growing into adulthood, those of us who come from underserved communities tend to recede to the very environment and behaviors one was said to have been working to transcend. This sort of recidivism, the sort that intersects between the socio-economic and cultural realms is to be unpacked another time. What is significant here for our purposes is the importance of a moment of reflection. From my small corner of East Atlanta, the inability for those who do not have the resources to take the time, our most valuable resource, to be still and reflect, is not easily found.
There is wealth in the time spent in examining the great wilderness of one’s inner-self in light of one’s responsibility to creating a more human dwelling place. By way of divine mathematics, life has led me to a space where this sort of introspection is possible, however foreign, due to the busyness of life. This has been no easy journey, beloved.
From the academic mill, it has been a very long time since I have been challenged, fundamentally. Yes, examining the lack of “horizontal” definitions, of epistemes of the work of Michel Foucault, sifting through with accuracy Walter Rodney’s perspectives on the underdevelopment of Africa and the development of the Western World, or producing an academic musing on the role of James Baldwin in the contemporary classroom are all challenging. Each of the aforementioned tasks are undoubtedly trying work, but they are, and should be, the sort of inquiries and productions that serve as the effect of ones examination rather than the cause. And for me, it is true that these challenges serve as the cause of a more fundamental challenge: that of examining why, how, and for whom the project of one’s life is of both personal and communal value. The danger in functioning otherwise is the potential placement of importance on work, with disregard to the vacuous work or not. What we do, the works that we are called to do, must be at all times tied to the deep well of introspection in the hopes that we can produce a substantive life project. In undergraduate, upon being blessed with the resources to flourish, I functioned in a space where I was afforded the opportunity to examine and expound on my interests without having to necessarily specialize.
But, as we know, there is much work to be done, and to be in tune with both what is and what one believes should be is to be in constant awareness that there must be progress from now to some point, seeable or unforeseeable, in the future. I know the world that I come from. I had to leave it to see it in a different light to begin contextualizing what I knew, somewhat akin to the way one must step back from a painting in order to view it in a different context from that which is native to the viewer.
The catalyst behind this musing is a conversation between Dr. Shaun Harper and myself at the graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania. Though he is on sabbatical, he agreed to meet with me for several hours, only taking a break to discuss the more tangible aspects of the programs I’m interested in, and It was one of the most fruitful academic experiences I’ve had in since my last day of my Major Figures in Philosophy course with Dr. Gabriel Soldatenko this past May. It was a well needed and lively discussion, because there are few people among those I have met who have the ability inquire in a way that evokes a critique in a way that makes space for constructive self-examination, Dr. Shaun Harper is one of the few. I’ve been charged to undertake that forever-necessary assignment of self examination. There is work to be done. I cannot wait to see what I come up with, but in the meantime, while I reflect, I’ll be working on my application. Penn feels as if it is the place that I should be, so what I plan to do is set forth the best bid and leave the rest in the hands of God. But, I must specialize, and this is the wealthy conundrum I look to examine over the next several weeks (that I’ve been fastened in for the past several months).
In closing, It is the genuine intrinsic nexus between one’s self-examination and the one’s self-actualization that give one’s work substantive meaning in life. With all of the work that must be done, especially in the field(s) which I have spent so much time watching, learning, and engaging with, It is time to do that which is most difficult, for me: find my niche within academia, the kind that is tied to my interests and the greater good of the people I wish to serve. There will always be the sound of the authentic whether or not one is able, or willing, to step down from the outer chaos to inspect the chaos. There must always be the understanding that we must activelypursue that which is genuine in us, and be genuine in our efforts to do so.
“Atlanta’s well-to-do Negroes never take buses, for they all have cars. The section in which they live is quite far away from the poor Negro section. They own, or at least are paying for, their own homes. They drive to work and back, and have cocktails and dinner with each other. They see very little of the white world; but they are cut off from the black world, too.
Now, of course, this last statement is not literally true. The teachers teach Negroes, the lawyers defend them. The ministers preach to them and bury them, and others insure their lives, pull their teeth, and cure their ailments. Some of the lawyers work with the NAACP and help push test cases through the courts. (If anything, by the way, disproves the charge of “extremism” which has so often been made against this organization, it is the fantastic care and patience such legal efforts demand.) Many of the teachers work very hard to bolster the morale of their students to prepare them for their new responsibilities; nor did those I met fool themselves about the hideous system under which they work. So when I say that they are cut off from the black world, I am not sneering, which, indeed, I scarcely have any right to do. I am talking about their position as a class - if they are a class – and their role in a very complex and shaky social structure.
The wealthier Negroes are, at the moment, very useful for the administration of the city of Atlanta, for they represent the potential, at least of interracial communication, That this phrase is a euphemism, in Atlanta as elsewhere, becomes clear when one considers how astonishingly little has been communicated in all these generations. What the phrase almost always has reference to is the fact that, in a given time and place, the Negro vote is sufficient value to force politicians to bargain for it. What interracial communication also refers to is that Atlanta is really growing and thriving, and because it wants to make even more money, it would like to prevent incidents that disturb the peace, discourage investments, and permit test cases, which the city of Atlanta would certainly lose, to come to the courts. Once this happens, as it certainly will one day, the state of Georgia will be up in arms and the present administration of the city will be out of power. I did not meet a soul in Atlanta (I naturally did not meet any members of the White Citizen’s Council, not, anyway, to talk to) who did not pray that the current mayor would be reelected. Not that they loved him particularly, but it is his administration which holds off the holocaust.
Now this places Atlanta’s wealthy Negroes in a really quite sinister position. Though both they and the mayor are devoted to keeping the peace, their aims and his are not, and cannot be, the same. Many of those lawyers are working day and night on test cases which the mayor is doing his best to keep out of court. The teachers spend their working day attempting to destroy in their students – and it is not too much to say, in themselves – those habits of inferiority which form one of the principal cornerstones of segregation as it is practiced in the South. Many of the parents listen to speeches by people like Senator Russell and find themselves unable to sleep at night. They are in the extraordinary position of being compelled to work for the deconstruction of all they have bought so dearly – their homes, their comfort, the safety of their children. But the safety of their children is merely comparative; it is all that their comparative strength as a class has bought them so far; and they are not really safe, really, as long as the bulk of Atlanta’s Negroes live in such darkness. On any night, in that other part of town, a policeman may beat up one Negro too many, or some Negro or some white man may simply go berserk. This is all it takes to drive so delicately balanced a city mad. And the island on which these Negroes have built their handsome houses will simply disappear.
This is not at all n the interests of Atlanta, and almost everyone there knows it. Left to itself, the city might grudgingly work out compromises designed to reduce the tension and raise the level of Negro life. But it is not left to itself; it belongs to the state of Georgia. The Negro vote has no power in the state, and the governor of Georgia – that “third-rate” man,” Atlantans call him – makes great political capital out of keeping the Negroes in their place. When six Negro ministers attempted to create a test case by ignoring the segregation ordinance on the buses, the governor was ready to declare martial law and hold the ministers incommunicado. It was the mayor who prevented this, who somehow squashed all publicity, treated the minsiters with every outward sign of respect, and it is his office which is preventing the case from coming into court. And remember it was the governor of Arkansas, in an insane bid for political power, who created the present crisis in Little Rock - against the will of most of its citizens and against the will of the mayor.”
- James Baldwin Nobody Knows My Name
“A Letter from the South”
Partisan Review, Winter 1959
This serves as inspiration for a later piece.
I don’t know how, up until this this point, I missed this essay.
There are fifty two weeks, three hundred sixty five (or six) days, eight thousand seven hundred sixty five hours, five hundred twenty five thousand nine hundred forty eight minutes, and thirty one million five hundred fifty six thousand nine hundred sixteen seconds, give or take a day or two, in a years time. This is an incredible amount of numbers in one setting, and to my understanding it moves at the same pace, with each of us functioning within it, in light of our unforeseen amounts, being held to it’s cold precision. These units are a means to measure with finite accuracy the moment we are in, how many we have left, and how many we have spent. We look to time for our measurements, it is what we assume above all things to be stable under the heavens.
As we press on through this daily humdrum of stability it becomes apparent, if we look to make something of our unforeseen number of moments, that nothing that occurs on the canvas of time – aside from God, if you are willing to concede that this is so – is stable under the heavens. In this world situations are interconnected, this is the “network of inescapable mutuality” that Dr. King speaks of. They are dynamic, shifting, and moving at all moments. Having observed this reality, one is left with one of two obligations. First, is to make something of substance within this movement, to actively engage with it along this canvass of time, provoke a shift in paradigms, and steer this instability in a way that creates an environment of progress. Or, one can delve in the latter, abandoning the call of progress and focus in nearsighted fashion on the immediate and finite.
This sort of inquiry is not a key facet of American culture, from what I have noticed. When tragedy comes about, from threats either domestic/internal or international/external, there tends to be little to no focus on locating the source of angst in light of coming to reconcilable terms with who we are and what we go through. For the brother in a brown body within the American project, it is a matter, among others, to first examine the great wilderness of oneself. Who, where, what, can you contribute your successes to? Is it your own devices? Is it the love of your parentsThe making of men is an endeavor one should never, ever, take lightly. Within the american project functioning – at any capacity, really – as a brother in a brown body is to be constantly in danger of succumbing to the many forces, external and internal, in this universe that beg one to develop, sustain, and maintain a tradition of inferiority.
I had the opportunity recently here, at Morehouse College, to lecture about what it means to be successful in the college classroom at Morehouse College, and it was the first time (as a non-student) that I’ve had my chance to place my intellectual hand on the pulse of the budding aspirations of black men in training. A seat where I once sat (and in many ways, I still sit).
I’ve taught before in several different spaces, but this one was different. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so did the students. I’ve connected with a few outside of class. I can’t wait to do so again. If there is a way to evoke the critical thought necessary within brown bodies in the American project, it is from this platform. A great use of time.
“The artist is distinguished from all other responsible actors in society – the politicians, legislators, educators, and scientists – by the fact that he is his own test tube, his own laboratory, working according to very rigorous rules, however unstated these may be, and cannot allow any consideration to supersede his responsibility to reveal all that he can possibly discover concerning the mystery of the human being.”
- James Baldwin, 1962
For a brief moment it is important that I address my influence in this regard, in hopes to provide an honest examination of the angle from which the following work is developed. If we are to conclude in a manner in which we can readily assume that research has been done in an extensive manner in order to provide an exhaustive review, we must – in light of academic integrity – first observe the origins of both the interest in this topic, as well as the goals in examination.
The following research is based off of three key precepts; first, that of the artist serving as a grand metaphor for the struggle of mankind. Second, the role of the artist, as a grand metaphor for the essential meaning of what it is to be human, has been, historically, to convey this struggle. Lastly, John Coltrane – both figuratively and by way of musical catalogue – represents this struggle.
In 1962, when James Baldwin begins to harp on the distinct task of the artist, in his or her purest form, he provides a framework for diagnosis, struggle, and reconciliation that serves as a representation of what can be perceived as the latent point in the music and life of John Coltrane. The goal here is to provide an outline of, gather the details from, and to examine the results of the life project of John Coltrane within the three periods set forth by Herman Gray in “John Coltrane and the Practice of Freedom”; Coltrane’s early harmonic period, his middle/modal period, and his late/experimental period, all the while keeping in mind the precepts mentioned beforehand. In order to provide proper context, there will be a brief synopsis of the events leading up to the three aforementioned periods, namely, his “spiritual awakening,” upon being released from the Miles Davis Quintet in the spring of 1957. In doing so, we will have created a space for critical analysis of the musings of John Coltrane in his later years (1961-1967) while acknowledging – as close as possible – the discursive formations from which Coltrane and his works derive. Since his last years are arguably the most debated among critics as either a deviation from, or the continuance of, the progression of Jazz, they provide a space for ripe examination.
John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23rd, 1926, essentially immersed in a southern Baptist tradition. In a matter of several months, beginning in December 1938, Coltrane lost his Father, both grandparents, and Aunt, leading to Coltrane being raised by his Mother and cousin. Upon graduation from Penn Griffin School of the Arts (formerly William Penn High School), Coltrane moved to Philadelphia where he would attend Granoff Studios (now Granoff School of Music) on scholarship for saxophone, clarinet, and composition. He would also find influences from the works of Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and from an Philadelphia environment rich for the development of his craft on the alto and tenor saxophone. In an interview for Downbeat Magazine, Coltrane expressly stated the extent of Parker and Young’s influence in retrospect:
“The first time I heard Bird [Charlie Parker] play, it hit me right between the eyes. Before I switched from alto in that year, it had been strictly a Bird thing with me, but when I bought a tenor to go with Eddie Vinson’s band, a wider area of listening opened up for me.”
“The reason I liked Lester so was that I could feel that line, that simplicity. My phrasing was very much in Lester’s vein at this time.”
In addition, on a regular basis Coltrane engaged with established musicians by the likes of Bill Doggett, Jimmy Golden, Charles Gaines, Jimmie Tisdale, and Frankie Fairfax. Conversly, of the upcoming talent in Philadelphia, he consistently worked with Jimmy Oliver, Bill Barron, Jimmy Heath, and Benny Golson. In 1949, after having brief stints in the US Navy Jazz Band and studying under Eddie Vinson’s tutelage, Coltrane joined Dizzie Gillespie’s band as a second alto. Due to issues with heroin addiction, alcohol addiction, and being habitually late, he ended up losing his place in Gillespie’s Band. Though he spent a relatively short time with Gillespie, Leonard Brown likens Coltrane’s time with Gillespie “the equivalent of a PhD in the beliefs, aesthetics, and performance practices of bebop and Afro-Cuban music both of which were major influences on his later musical creations.”
In 1954 he gained another opportunity in joining the septet of alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges, which ended in similar fashion as his apprenticeship with Gillespie: constantly late, absent, and still battling an addiction to alcohol and heroin, prompting Hodges to release him. The penultimate step before Coltrane’s “spiritual awakening”, as is expressed in both Harker and Browns’ texts, was his time spent in the late 1950’s with the Miles Davis. Initially, critics weren’t too fond of Davis and his decision to go with John Coltrane as an addition to his quintet. Coltrane’s “mature voice,” among many things, became a major question for critics. Nat Hentoff, for example, noted:
“Coltrane… is a mixture of Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Sonny Stitt. But so far there’s very little Coltrane.”
…A sharp critique focused on the originality of Coltrane, at the time, where in the future Hentoff would be a committed supporter of Coltrane. In the same fashion as his departure from Gillespie’s band and Hodges band, Coltrane’s substance abuse led Miles Davis to fire Coltrane and Philly Joe Jones.
Early, Harmonic Period
The Early, Harmonic Period of John Coltrane can be attributed to the question of originality posed by Nat Hentoff. The definitive years of Coltrane’s stylistic influence is tied to the plethora of individuals Coltrane spent time with. One would think that, being held in high regard at the capacity that he is today, Coltrane would – from the outset – be an outspoken and candid character, whereas by way of Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, we are told that Coltrane spent a significant amount of time absorbing the aesthetics and practices of Dizzy Gillespie, John Hodges, and Eddie Vinson:
“Yeah, little ol’ Colrane used to be in my band. He never wanted to play. I used to have to play all night long. I’d ask him, ‘Man, why don’t you play’ He’d say ’I just want to hear you play.’”
It is here that we can see what is perceived as the source of Coltrane’s “lack of originality” finding solace in the harmonies set forth by his multiple sources of influence. One can catch a glimpse of these influences by listening to the following tunes; The Dizzie Gillespie Sextet – Tin Tin Deo, (1951), where there is a clear Latin influence, but like many recorded tracks of the time, the common thread was that the harmonic framework was based out of chord progressions, leaving very little room for fundamental improvisation. However, as stated before, Coltrane’s inability to maintain a constant presence in the band due to drug related issues led to his dismissal in 1957.
Where many were critical of Coltrane’s originality regarding his harmonic foundations, he gained ground in working with the Miles Davis Quintet in that he was given space for improvisation beyond simple chord progressions in extended solos in pieces. Prior to the release of recordings where we can view examples of such freedom, Kind of Blue and his reuniting with Miles Davis for example, Coltrane moved home to Philadelphia to fight through his addiction cold turkey. Coltrane, perhaps because of being heavily founded in a spiritual tradition, attributes his recovery to a divine source, stating that “During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At the time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.” At this junction Coltrane’s life project through music and as a man found some sense of purpose.
What is significant about the term “modal” as it relates to Jazz music and John Coltrane, is in that it represents a shift that was taking place in the Jazz community from chord progressions serving as a harmonic framework, to the use of modes as the foundation from which most solos where based off of.
The potential origins of this style of play for Coltrane perhaps derives from his time working with Thelonious Monk, who offered Coltrane a spot in his Band upon being dismissed by Davis. Per Robin D.G. Kelley, Monk was present the evening Davis lost his cool, ended up punching Coltrane, where upon the assault Monk stated “As much saxophone as you play, you don’t have to take that. Why don’t you come work for me?”A generous gesture, sure, but Monk did not have the roster in order to accommodate Coltrane until June 1957. Monk had is eyes on Coltrane, and at one point Coltrane would make a daily pilgrimage to Monk’s residence on West 63rd street to learn more of his style.
What is of primary importance regarding Coltrane’s time with Monk is not the timeframe, nor is it the lengthy solos (which in comparison to those welcomed by Davis were relatively similar in length), it is Coltrane’s newfound dedication to his craft, which lead to the work Blue Train (1957), and the composition/work Giant Steps (1960), which is considered to be a benchmark recording that is still used as a testing piece for musicians.
In tracks like “So What” as well as the standard and alternate takes of “Flamenco Sketches,” both from the album Kind of Blue (1959), we can begin to see a shift into a phase of Jazz where two alternating chords and the use of open structures became the platform from which compositions where based. It was at this time Ira Gitler termed the phrase “sheets of sound” to highlight the sonorous qualities of Coltrane’s music.
The creativity in the critique, both acclaim and criticism did not end with the term sheets of sound. John Tynan, the associate editor of Downbeat in 1961, published an article labeling Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane’s music as “Anti-Jazz” and “Nonsense,” as their style of playing deviated from the swing movement. For Coltrane, music was not about pleasing an audience, it was about spiritual development, nor was it simply a means to an end, but a means to an enlightenment – an influence set forth by the eastern and African cultures Coltrane studied. The highlight of this period is John Coltrane’s release of A Love Supreme (1965), a four part suite dedicated to the acknowledgement of a higher being, hence the title. Per Ashley Kahn, A Love Supreme “in sound, spirit, and name, its arc of influence and inspiration remains unbroken and, like the transitory elements that helped create it, poignantly unrepeatable.”
Late Experimental Period
In 1965, Coltrane would enter what is regarded as his Late Experimental Period, where he would delve deeper into the nexus between spirituality and music, exploring free jazz and engaging heavily in the Avant-garde movement. In March 1965, LeRoi Jones organized New Black Music, an avant-garde concert aimed at a younger crowd. It was here that Coltrane would be led to pursue the help of Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp, which would play a large role in the introduction of Pharaoh Sanders in creating the album Ascension (1965). What is significant about Ascension, for Coltrane – both in name, and representation – is that it represented a transition (ascension even) into an all out, unapologetic subscription to radical free jazz. Though it was a transition out of creative necessity, Brown lends to the notion that it was a shift that was not easily nor readily accepted: “Others among his contemporaries, regardless of skin color, did not understand or embrace his new musical explorations and directions.”
However, of his critics, Coltrane set forth this powerful statement:
“Whatever the case, whether accepted or rejected, rich or poor, they are forever guided by that great and eternal constant – the creative urge. Let us cherish it and give all praise to God. Thank you and best wishes to all.
Up until his death in 1967 of liver cancer, Coltrane would embrace the avant-garde, free jazz movement even with McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones leaving his band.
Because music exists as a functional entity within Black America, the creation of new styles discloses shifts in values, attitudes, and social needs. These styles do not evolve independently of existing traditions, but rather, they evolve out of them.
- Portia Maultsby, 1985.
The work of John Coltrane, the life of John Coltrane, as expressed before, is a product of the environment from which he derives. The broad understanding of divinity and spirituality, as is expressed through music. His first wife was Muslim, his Mother and Father were devout Christians, and he studied heavily the incantations of Eastern and African traditions. Because of his broad and refined understandings, Coltrane’s development was deemed as difficult to accept by some of his closest allies. To which we must revert to the three aforementioned precepts in the introduction.
First, of the artist serving as a metaphor for “struggle,” inasmuch as the safety that the heart tends to seek is in indifference, an indifference that is seductive at face value but in the end vacuous as it does little, if anything, to press forward a project of substance. The transition from swing to “anti-jazz” was based in Coltrane’s intrinsic need to examine himself and convey what was found. Though, as Portia Maultsby states, styles do not evolve independently, they evolve out of previous traditions, it nonetheless is a difficult process in that it must let go, to a certain extent, in order to create something new.
Second, of the conveyance of this struggle, we have seen through Coltrane’s personal bouts with heroin addiction and alcohol addiction, wavering critiques, personal losses, he managed to find something constant in life in his dedication to his craft, as well as his dedication to a project of developing a connection between divinity and music.
Lastly, of particular names of recordings and albums that allow us to tie his personal evolving together, if there is any recording that allows us to view the life of John Coltrane in adequate light, it is A Love Supreme. Reason being, it is the culmination of a struggle out of addiction, to independence (in a sense), that rests neatly between the modal and free jazz periods that he embraced wholly. A binary relationship, sure, but in his pursuance of “A Love Supreme” he finds a conclusion that resembles reconciliation. It is this quest for reconciliation that we see set forth by Coltrane that inspires us to do that which we must: investigate the vast wilderness of our vices and virtues and seek to make something of substance out of our distinct, interrelated, life projects.
Baldwin, James. “The Creative Process.” Creative America. Ridge Press, 1962.
Brown L., Leonard. “In His Own Words: Coltrane’s Response to Critics.” Edited by Leonard Brown L., 11-31. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Brown L., Leonard. “You Have to Be Invited: Reflections on Music Making and Musician Creation in Black American Culture.” In John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest for Freedom: Spirtuality and the Music, edited by Brown L. Leonard, 3-9. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Coltrane, John, and Don DeMichael. “Coltrane on Coltrane.” Downbeat: Jazz Blues & Beyond. September 29, 1960.
Cruse, Harold. The Crisis of The Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of The Failure of Black Leadership. New York, NY: Quill, 1984.
Gray, Herman. “John Coltrane and the Practice of Freedom.” In John Coltrane and Black America’s Quest For Freedom: Spirituality and the Music, edited by Leonard Brown L., 33-54. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Harker, Brian. “John Coltrane.” In Jazz: An American Journey, by Brian Harker, 270-280. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall , 2005.
Kahn, Ashley. A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album . New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 2002.
Kelley D.G., Robin. Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original . New York, New York: Free Press, 2009.
Palmer, Robert. John Coltrane – The World Accrding to John Coltrane. Directed by Toby Byron and Robert Palmer. Produced by BMG Special Product. Performed by John Coltrane. BMG Video, 1990.
Porter, Lewis. John Coltrane: His Life and Music. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
“A man may not be talented, he may not be a great man in other people’s eyes, he may be just a simple, humble, human being. But, at the place where he functions, with all of his simplicity, and all of his limitations, if he is able – at that spot – to say yes, to all of himself, to the thing which is more important than whether he lives or dies, whether he succeeds or fails. If he’s able to say yes, then the resources of life begin to move towards him.”