John Coltrane, one of my favorite saxophone players of all time, was a master always seeking enlightenment and spirituality via his musical instrument.
Both hated and revered, Coltrane became so engrossed in his music that he would sometimes perform 45 minutes on the same song, eyes shut tightly, not moving from his spot in front of the microphone nor opening his eyes to see if anyone was listening or appreciating his music.
When he performed, it was as if he was channeling the powers of the universe through his saxophone.
When I was learning to play the saxophone I transcribed many of John Coltrane's solos (played note for note imitating exactly how he played) in my parents’ basement. I played on an Otto Link mouthpiece, and Selmer vintage tenor saxophone just like he did . . . I felt as if I was learning at the feet of the master. Sometimes I could imitate and lock into his tone, inflection, and sound so perfectly that I felt he was playing my instrument.
Here’s a live performance of one of my favorite songs of his, about his little girl which the song is named after, “Naima”.