It’s amazing what you can learn about someone just by reading. John Coltrane was a music-lover and musician from a young age and was given his first alto sax before he was in high school. He took it up during his high school years and became quite good at it, earning accolades from many and getting steadily better the more he played. In the 1940s he joined the Navy and eventually found himself playing as a musician in a band within the service, though only as a guest player since the band was all white. Eventually however his skills managed to land him the job of the band leader and allowed him a lot more privilege than he’d initially had. By the time he was discharged he was already a very respected musician and by the time he made his way to Philadelphia his sound was already impressing a lot of people. It makes you wonder how many people saw a legend in the making and how many just thought he was another person playing the saxophone.
Here are a few uses of his music that have managed to capture the real feel of his works.
5. Detroit – I Want to Talk About You
Some people have said that Detroit is the most irresponsible movie that’s been made recently since it showed a lot of black people but not a black community. Based on a riot that took the life of several people in the late 1960s in Detroit, this movie is a poignant reminder of what it was like to be a black person in America at this time. Many would argue that it’s gotten no better since and in some areas it might seem that way but at the very least things have improved at least somewhat. The movie wasn’t entirely accurate but it did show the sign of the times at the very least and didn’t shy from the ugliness of it.
4. Gotham – In A Sentimental Mood
Gotham is the kind of show and the kind of town where the Blues and Jazz are picked up as kind of a prerequisite to living there. Whether you like it or not the music does seem to be another part of the culture and is so rooted within the feel of the show that taking it out would probably cause it to lose some of its potency. Throughout its history so far Gotham has been the kind of show that really makes people wonder why it’s so popular only to remind them when they decide to watch. Seeing Batman’s enemies come to life bit by bit is kind of fun since it gives you an idea of what really helped to create him.
3. Beauty Shop – Giant Steps
Wherever culture is found, especially black culture in movies and TV, Coltrane is bound to be around there somewhere since he seems to exemplify the feeling and heart that goes into black culture at times and the overall sensations that help the culture to thrive and push forward in a musical sense. His inspiration and influence on the musical scene has been something that has been felt for a long time and it’s something that many people can sit and listen to with every part of their mind and body and fully enjoy themselves as they immerse their consciousness within the rhythm and feel of the music.
2. Capote – Easy to Remember
Capote is a great example of what happens when a writer gets too involved with their subject and too focused on their work to do much else. The book that Capote wrote, In Cold Blood, was one of the last things he ever wrote since it was the absolute peak of his career and it seems like there might have been the belief that he couldn’t possibly top the work if he tried for years on end. He was an interesting man to say the least but definitely a person that might take some getting used to certainly since he had his own fair share of quirks and was not always the easiest person to get along with if all reports stated about him are true.
1. John Coltrane – By The Numbers
It was more than a little difficult to find a clip but this track was featured in Breaking Bad, which is by far one of the best TV series that’s been created in the past 20 years. Walter White, aka Heisenberg, was one brutal individual that was spawned from one of the most unassuming characters that one could imagine. Bryan Cranston came into the series looking like the mild-mannered schoolteacher he was, but went out looking like the grizzled old man that had seen an entire lifetime flash by his eyes without any chance to grab hold and take some solace in what it offered.
It goes without saying that John Coltrane’s music has offered a lot in the way of TV and movies.