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Quotes on Coltrane
Coltrane as a catalyst for spiritual revelation
in focused psychedelic experiences
Quotes from Musicians and Others on Coltrane, Spirituality
Guitarist and founding member of (Janis Joplin's)
Big Brother and the Holding Company
"I took LSD and listened to Coltrane a lot; a lot of
(more Santana quotes at the bottom
of the page)
"John Coltrane is still probably one of the greatest
musicians of this century. His tone truly puts demons on
a leash. His gift is directly from the mind of God and is
very powerful. ..... The first time I heard a Love Supreme,
it was really an assault. It could've been from mars as
far as i was concerned, or another galaxy.
I remember the album cover and the name, but the music didn't
fit into the patterns of my brain at that point. It was
like someone trying to tell a monkey about spirituality
or computers, you know, it just didn't compute."
of the Grateful Dead on
'a Love Supreme'
"That's one of the records I would hear walking
through the Haight on a spring night, all over town."
- touring with Tracy Chapman, Jewel and Dave Matthews
Band; from Rolling Stone April 9 2003
"When Jason Mraz was fresh out of high school, studying
to be a musical-theater actor in New York,
he had a life-changing revelation while listening to John
Coltrane at a party.
"It was the first time I ever did LSD, and it was the
first time I ever really listened to jazz,"
says Mraz, 25. "Coltrane's sax sounded like a voice.
I realized that's how I wanted my voice to be.
Guitarist with The DOORS on
My Favorite Things (Atlantic, 1961) - “The chords
in ‘Light My Fire’ are based on Coltrane’s
version of this song. He just solos over A minor and B
minor, which is exactly what we did. Coltrane had played
with Miles on Kind of
Blue and took the idea of modal soloing over one or two
chords farther out than anybody. He was a real pioneer
- he just kept evolving, going where no one had ever gone.
He could always attain this state of ecstasy when he
played. Live, there was so much energy, you couldn’t
believe it. He would play for hours. It was indescribable.”
of Earth, Wind and Fire
"I remember when A love Supreme was released - I heard
it at a friends house. ... Man it was incredible. That record
sounded different than the rest. I was trying to gather
my spirituality together, trying to get an understanding
of life ..... I felt Coltrane was the first musician who
made a transition from one side to the other."
of Pop Group REM on A love Supreme
"... a blast from another planet for me .... there
are lots of pictures of america in that thing,
without Coltrane making any kind of conscious political
lead singer of Rock/Pop group U2
"I was at the top of the Grand Hotel in Chicago (on
tour 1987) listening to 'a Love Supreme' and learning the
lesson of a lifetime. Earlier i had been watching televangelists
remake God in their own image: tiny, petty and greedy. I
knew from my earliest memories that the world was winding
in a direction away from love, and I too was caught in it's
There is so much wickedness in this world but beauty is
our consolation prize ..... the beauty of john Coltrane's
reedy voice, it's whispers, it's knowingness, it's sly sexuality,
it's praise of creation.
And so Coltrane began to make sense to me.
I left the music on repeat and I stayed awake listening
to a man facing God with the gift of his music."
80+yr old Indian Sitar Master and friend of Coltrane's
responding to his first(!) listening to 'a Love Supreme'
"I have been so moved by this record. I have heard
it already 3 or 4 times, and played it for
musicians who are with me now. It's beautiful, especially
the climax in the third movement, then
the resolution of the whole last piece. Reading the sleeve
notes i was so surprised by his total
surrendering and believing and his love for God. I thank
you so much for sending me this."
"I cant say why it's so popular, but perhaps it fulfills
people's need for prayer,
'a Love Supreme' has a feeling of moral authority in the
most humble and spiritual way"
"Call it Universal Consciousness, Supreme Being, Nature,
Call this force by any name you like, but it was there,
and its presence was so powerfully felt by most people that
it was almost palpable"
Legendary Jazz Bassist
"you will get the message (of A love Supreme) if you
are ready for it, as Hindu philosophy teaches us,
if you're not ready for it, you got to go back and prepare
and come that way again. OK?"
All I do is meditate--I practice and I meditate. You have
to go all the way, because
that's what Coltrane did. The picture that he showed me
when I looked into his eyes,
that was the universal man. All of this music is purely
music of love.
While it comes from meditation, it has nothing to do with
It tries to help bring about new approaches to living for
Jazz, Fusion, rock and classical Guitarist & composer
M: "To be honest i didn't get any
of it on first listening, I actually couldn't understand
what he was playing musically or what he was feeling emotionally"
I: In gaining an understanding of Coltrane's
lines, was it a matter of writing them out, or was it all
just absorbed with the heart?
M: What I couldn't understand was the level
he was operating on, the level that he lived on In fact,
A Love Supreme was the first record that went over my head.
I just couldn't grasp it until a couple of years after I'd
first heard it. It was just astounding.
I: Spiritually as well as musically?
M: Yeah, but spiritual and artistic levels
are the same - there's no difference.
Reviewer on Amazon
Coltrane was an alien, angel, or some other formation of
being granted upon this earth by a celestial being.
His path is messianic, but not egocentric. Coltrane represents
the pinnacle of what music should be- balanced extensions
of the artist’s aesthetical/spiritual ideas mixed
with a universal awareness for the world that surrounds
them. Ascension is not background music. Ascension is the
music of life.
William G. Carter
© Presbybop Music.from internet essay: Sing
A New Song- Jazz and Faith -
This address was presented at the 1997 Institute
of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton,
"There's an apocryphal story about a music critic who,
years later, asked him the same question Miles Davis used
"Why do you play so many notes?"
Coltrane said, "I'm looking for the right note."
The interviewer said, "What if you should find it?"
Coltrane thought for a minute, and said, "I'll play
Within this music, you can often hear
a yearning for transcendence. We desire to sound the right
note, the holy note, the beautiful note."
Guitarist and Spiritual healer
"I'm not trippin' on that at all.
All I want to do is to turn people on to John Coltrane and
I'm not a show business guy at all."
~from Earpollution music magazine
"I’ve known for a long time that John Coltrane
and Bob Marley re-arrange your molecular structure.
I wanted to be part of that. I said to Mr. Clive Davis before
I signed the contract that I want to help unify the molecules
with the light.’
He said, ‘How do you want to do that?’ ’"
Zannah: Who do you hold in high regard
as being fueled by divine inspiration?
How do you perceive this state of enlightenment benefiting
Carlos: John Coltrane is still probably
one of the greatest musicians of this century.
His tone truly puts demons on a leash. His gift is directly
from the mind of God and is very powerful."
"I'm very grateful to John Coltrane and to Martin Luther
King. Because they are the
ones who said to me, "What are you going to do in your
life? Where is your promise?".
Some people will always say,"Hey man, it's just rock
'n roll". But sooner or later,
when you're all alone, you have to take something seriously."
"wanted to learn why I was so fascinated with Coltrane
and that sky-church music,
as Jimi called it. So I got together with [pianist and harpist]
Alice Coltrane, and I
found out why she writes, and how she writes those celestial
strings. It's important
for guitarists to listen to her and [tenor saxophonist]
"I haven't heard anything higher than 'The Father and
the Son and the Holy Ghost'
from the Meditations album. I would often play it at four
in the morning, the traditional
time for meditation. I could hear God's mind in that music,
influencing John Coltrane.
I heard the Supreme One playing music through John Coltrane's
Q: Why is John Coltrane a musician who
models that spirit for you?
Carlos Santana "Coltrane's commitment
is in his sound, and as Charlie Parker says, "If you
don't live it, it ain't gonna come out."
John Coltrane represented getting to the Promised Land without
the needle. He took the keys from hell with his sound, telling
we don't have to do drugs in order to be connected anywhere
from the microcosm to the top of the galaxy. He made a different
kind of commitment with music. Bob Marley did this with
the groove and the lyrics and so was able to produce a type
But Coltrane went another kind of way. His sound is the
sound I most like; it has no shadows.
Sometimes it's hard to hear. I say to myself, "O God,
I only have two ears and a heart!"
It's like 240 voltage while the rest of us are running on
So I have to be clear and go to an area where I can take
when he's just playing the blues and ballads for common
folks who are lovers.
But other times I'm hungry for a different kind of romance,
and that's when I play his soulful music.
When you hear this second kind of Coltrane music, the only
way you can describe it is the way you would describe Machu
Picchu in the Andes mountains. It's a whole other level
of high consciousness that causes the slicksters and the
hipsters and anyone else to say, "Hey, this is not
coming from an intellectual trip or some dude trying to
When he starts a solo with his saxophone,
it actually sounds like his heart is made out of light,
and it is coming out of the horn; the horn is rumbling,
and all of the keys are shooting off light.
Coltrane has come the closest to connecting the
alpha to the omega through sound."
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