John ColtraneJazz | 2006
John Coltrane was born in 1926 in North Carolina. He moved to Philadelphia in 1943, was inducted into the Navy in 1945, and returned to civilian life in 1946. He worked a variety of jobs through the late forties until he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in 1949 as an alto saxophonist. He went on to work with Gillespie’s small group as a tenor player until 1951, when he returned to Philadelphia to go to school. Although there are recordings of Coltrane from as early as 1946, his professional music career mostly spanned from 1955 through 1967, during which time he reshaped modern jazz and influenced generations of musicians, working with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. Coltrane lived on a quiet residential street in Dix Hills during the last years of his life. It was in this home, which has been designated as an historic landmark, that he composed his greatest work, “A Love Supreme,” which was certified gold by the RIAA in 1972 for exceeding 500,000 units in Japan. The jazz classic and the class album My Favorite Things were certified gold in the U.S. in 2001. Coltrane died in 1967 at Huntington Hospital on Long Island. In 1982, the RIAA posthumously awarded John Coltrane a Grammy Award for “Best Jazz Solo Performance” for the work on his album, Bye Bye Blackbird. In 1997, he received the organization’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.