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John Coltrane Jazz taking its roots in African American folk music has evolved metamorphosed and transposed itself over the last century to become a truly American art form More than any other type of music it places special emphasis on innovative individual interpretation Instead of relying on a written score the musician improvises For each specific period or style through which jazz has gone through over the past seventy years there is almost always a single person who can be credited with the evolution of that sound From Thelonius Monk and his bebop to Miles Davis cool jazz from Dizzy Gillespies big band to John Coltranes free jazz Americas music has been developed and refined countless times through individual experimentation and innovation One of the most influential musicians in the development of modern jazz is John Coltrane In this paper I examine the way in which Coltranes musical innovations were related to the music of the jazz greats of his era and to the tribulations and tragedies of his life John William Coltrane was born in Hamlet North Carolina on September 23
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