all time top 5-Coltrane in the Cold Rain

Here is a nice collection of Coltrane Poem’s to go along with the music.  The poetry reflects the various periods of John’s career.  His free period, his revolutionary feelings, his open and expressive melange, and artful masterpieces.

I will leave it to the pro’s to express my feelings about Coltrane, and why he is in my all time top 5 musicians.

Michael Stillman’s “In Memoriam John Coltrane” (The Jazz Poetry Anthology, 1991):

Listen to the coal

rolling, rolling through the cold

steady rain, wheel on

wheel, listen to the

turning of the wheels this night

black as coal dust, steel

on steel, listen to

these cars carry coal, listen

to the coal train roll.

Check out this great post for tons more info.  It’s where I found these great poems, and the history behind it so thanks to Vagabondage.

John Coltrane-Blues Minor

Edward Kamau Brathwaite “Glass” (Black + Blues 1976)

i hear them screaming


as the world revolves round

marcus malcolm mississippi memphis

but there aint no vein of revolution

only the blues

and coltrane’s gospel pain

John Coltrane-Bessie’s Blues

Here Where Coltrane Is” Michael S. Harpers (History Is Your Own Heartbet, 1971)

I play “Alabama”

on a warped record player

skipping the scratches

on your faces over the fibrous

conical hairs of plastic

under the wooden floors.

Dreaming on a train from New York

to Philly, you hand out six

notes which become an anthem

to our memories of you:

oak, birch, maple,

apple, cocoa, rubber.

For this reason Martin is dead;

for this reason Malcolm is dead;

for this reason Coltrane is dead;

in the eyes of my first son are the browns

of these men and their music.

John Coltrane-In a Sentimental Mood

Jayne Cortez “How Long Has Trane Been Gone?

Rip those dead white people off

your walls Black People

black people whose walls

should be a hall

A Black Hall Of Fame

so our children will know

will know & be proud

Proud to say I’m from Parker City–Coltrane City–Omette City

Pharoah City living on Holiday street next to

James Brown park in the State of Malcolm

Giant Steps, was the first Coltrane record I was ever exposed to.  My high school art teacher popped it into the CD player during open studio time early in the year.  Thusly, changing my year for the better, and subsequently my life, because I never lost the fever for Coltrane since.  Coincidentally the CD he played after this was Tom Waits, “Nighthawks At The Diner.”  That might explain a few things about me.

John Coltrane-Ole

Sonia Sancz’s “a/coltrane/poem” from We a BaddDDD People (1970), The poem begins with a relatively quiet voice, invoking the lullaby “are u sleepen/ are u sleepen/ brotha john/ brotha john,” which Sanchez notes in the margin is “to be sung softly.” But in “the quiet/ aftermath of assassinations” and “the massacre/ of all blk/ musicians,” Sanchez attempts to create a phonetic equivalent to the explosive sound of Coltrane’s sax: “scrEEEccCHHHHH screeeeEEECHHHHHHH/ sCReeeEEECHHHHHH SCREEEECCCCHHHH/ SCREEEEEEEECCCVIHHHHHHHHHH/ a alovesupremealovesupremealovesupreme for our blk/ people.” This is followed by an expression of political fury:











Possibly my all time favorite album here.  I have played this vinyl so many times that it is nearly worn out.  The joy of getting lost in this song is one of my favorite moments in life, and any rendition of this song by Coltrane is pure magic.  I wonder if Rodgers and Hammerstein imagined their song getting this kind of treatment.  First class.

John Coltrane-My Favorite Things

About spinladen

DJ at KWVA University of Oregon campus radio, record collector, artist.
This entry was posted in music and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s