“All musicians worth hearing during and beyond their time, keep growing as their music deepens its hold on the listener. But John Coltrane committed his very existence to continually searching for more possibilities in his music – and therefore, in himself.
After all, he once told me, “the music is the whole question of life itself.”
At home, John Coltrane would practice for hours, sometimes silently – just running his fingers over the keys. He’s pick up new instruments and meditate and listen to recordings of Indian music and the sounds and rhythms of South African pygmies (Khoi San).
At one point, he decided to have two drummers in his group. He went on to add two drummers in his group. He went on to add two bass players for a recording. I asked him why, “Because”, he said, I WANT MORE OF THE SENSE OF THE EXPANSION OF TIME.
A quiet man, excerpt when he played, he would talk softly about his reason for being. “I’m not sure of what I’m looking for,” he said to me, “excerpt that it’ll be something that hasn’t been played before. I don’t know what it is, I know I’ll have that FEELING WHEN I GET IT.”
And When he got it, audiences would sometimes shout because of the release of feelings in themselves.”
– NAT Hentoff, Co-Editor of The Jazz Review, as quoted in Rock ‘n Rule: The Essays, Stories and Poetry of Menzi Maseko, 2016