Home Lifestyle Summary of the “Discography” of John Coltrane 

Summary of the “Discography” of John Coltrane 

John Coltrane
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HAMLET – Number three of a series of three articles covering the great Jazz musician, legend, and Hamlet’s own, John Coltrane.

The reason this is a summary is because of the vastness of his works.  His “discography” is comprised of a very long list of recordings and sessions with so very many of his peers it is simply too large to print in this article.  Therefore, I am going to highlight the times, places and other notable musicians of the era he performed, toured and recorded with over his professional career.

In 1945, when he was just 19 years of age, he played in the Jimmy Johnson Big Band in Philadelphia, PA.  Then he was off to the Navy and played in the Navy Band while in Hawaii for a short stint.  Then he played with many, including Dinah Washington, Johnny Griffin Septet, The Prestige All Stars, etc., all up in the Philly/ New Jersey area.  Then moving on up to play and record with Dizzy Gillespie in 1950, doing many concerts in New York City and all the while gaining notoriety along the way and making a name for himself.  Then he landed a good gig with Johnny Hodges in 1954 and that led him to another legend Miles Davis, and in that band was Philly Joe Jones, a very famous and sought-after Jazz drummer. 

Miles and John had a strained relationship at times.  Miles’ idea of a solo and John’s were a bit different but Miles knew John was so special he let him have his way with the saxophone almost all the time and would often just leave the stage for awhile and have a smoke during some of Coltrane’s long and intricate solos. 


New York City became a place for Coltrane, meaning he had a large audience there but by this time he had played Europe a lot and they were also a welcoming audience for him and whoever was playing along with him too.   

John had started playing as the top bill on shows now and it was well deserved but he worked very hard for many years crafting his art into as some said was cutting edge and experimental but at the same time he was tagged as just the best at what he did. 

His recordings were published by some of the largest and most successful record labels of the time and they are available on most any form of reproduced captured recordings today.  There are over twenty albums available at Amazon on CD and vinyl now of his recordings but there is an abundance of recordings he was on with so many others including Miles Davis’ albums also.

John Coltrane pretty much took his own band and rode it hard to the end of his life and career as he was only forty years of age when he died from complications of liver cancer.  He recorded, toured and performed for so many and became so very well known as being at the top of his art.  It is truly amazing what he was able to accomplish in just a forty year span of this life.  I think his life, music and legacy will live on for many more generations to come.

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