Coltrane, John (William )
- Lewis Porter
(b Hamlet, NC, Sept 23, 1926; d Huntington, NY, July 17, 1967). American tenor and soprano saxophonist, composer, and bandleader, husband of Alice Coltrane and father of Oran and Ravi Coltrane. His parents, Alice Blair and John Robert Coltrane, were both amateur musicians. He was an only child and grew up in High Point, North Carolina, within an extended family including, among others, his first cousin Mary and her parents. Around the fall of 1939, he received his first instrumental experience playing alto horn, then clarinet, in a community band. When he joined the high school band the next year, he took up alto saxophone. His father, uncle, and mother’s parents all died between 1938 and late 1940, and after his high school graduation in June 1943, he joined his devastated family in Philadelphia, where they had moved, and found a factory job. Around 1944, Coltrane began taking saxophone lessons and theory classes. Johnny Hodges was his idol until ...