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John Coltrane

composer jazz saxophonist

Coltrane, John (1926–67), U.S. musician and composer. A saxophonist, he was one of the leading artists of African-American jazz in the 1950s and 1960s, performing with such gifted players as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. In the early 1960s he formed his own group, which soon became the most innovative in U.S. music. As a saxophonist, Coltrane was known for his distinctive tone and superlative technique. Asa composer, he introduced the “sheets of sound” style and explored the possibilities of modal compositions, based on unusual scales. In his later years, he was also famous for his encouragement of younger musicians.

See also: Jazz.

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