Coltrane the Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff
ML 419 .C645 R37 2007
The acclaimed jazz writer Ben Ratliff addresses these questions in Coltrane. First Ratliff tells the story of Coltrane’s development, from his first recordings as a no-name navy bandsman to his last recordings as a near-saint, paying special attention to the last ten years of his life, which contained a remarkable series of breakthroughs in a nearly religious search for deeper expression.
In the book’s second half, Ratliff traces another history: that of Coltrane’s influence and legacy. This story begins in the mid-’50s and considers the reactions of musicians, critics, and others who paid attention, asking: Why does Coltrane signify so heavily in the basic identity of jazz?
Placing jazz among other art forms and American social history, and placing Coltrane not just among jazz musicians but among the greatest American artists, Ratliff tries to look for the sources of power in Coltrane’s music—not just in matters of technique, composition, and musical concepts, but in the deeper frequencies of Coltrane’s sound.”
— book jacket