John Coltrane, US Navy Enlistment Photo. 1945

John Coltrane. US Navy Enlistment Photo. 1945

John Coltrane, US Navy enlistment photo. 1945.

Coltrane, born in 1926, is 18 years old in the photo. From the Tumblr of Jazz at Lincoln Center

In 1945 John Coltrane, at the age of 18, entered the Navy as a “volunteer apprentice seaman” and a year later made his first recording with a Navy band called the “Melody Masters.”

The Melody Masters, a segregated band stationed in Oahu, HI were not officially allowed to play with black musicians. An Excerpt from the book “Coltrane: The Story of Sound” By Ben Ratliff states that Coltrane appeared as a guest of The Melody Masters by evading the knowledge of their superior officers. The band made private recordings together, eventually pressing four copies of a 78 RPM record.

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  1. A swab supreme, a swab supreme, a swab supreme…

  2. I was talking to a friend tonight who didn’t “get” jazz. I told her if she didn’t “get” John Coltrane, something was wrong with her. I’m going to send her this:
    If she doesn’t get it then, I’m gonna have to put her under discipline.
  3. Midnight Rambler, I love you like a brother, but let me put it this way: I am not a religious man, and I don’t believe in god, but when I hear John Coltrane play, I’m about as close to that god-I-don’t-believe-in as I’ll ever be.

  4. And I ain’t the only one:

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