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Valentine's Day 2024 Falls on Day 7 of The Coltrane Legacy. It's OK to Feel Kind of Blue

Still the best selling jazz record of all time, “Kind of Blue” is the point of entry into jazz for generations of music listeners, from casual listeners to serious ones to people who have the album because they know it’s culturally significant but don’t really know why.

By Matt Silver

On December 26, 1958, John Coltrane led a recording session that produced enough music for 3 LPs: The Believer, Stardust, and Bahia. These would be his last recordings for Prestige Records; Trane’s contract was up.

Tues., Feb. 13, 2024 is Day 6 of The Coltrane Legacy

New Milestones, a Soultrane Leaves the Station, and The Second Time Around for Miles Davis's First Great Quintet*

 *which, actually, isn’t a quintet anymore, but a sextet, with the addition of alto giant Cannonball Adderley.

There are many John Coltranes. But when you think of his "Sheets of Sound" period, you think of his 1958 recordings for Prestige Records. Photo by Francis Wolff.

By Matt Silver

1958 is a new time for Coltrane to do old things in new ways. To start the year, he plays his first instrument, the alto, on a Prestige All Stars date led by Gene Ammons. But the old horn sounds like the new Coltrane — almost like a tenor — and it’s the first and only commercially recorded instance of Coltrane soloing on alto. 

Next, it’s back to Miles’s band.

A Prez Day- Monday, February 19th

Blog Name:Home Page News

Blog Author:San Diego's Jazz 88.3

Posted on:February 10, 2024

KSDS will be celebrating a different kind of President today.  Join us as we salute the "PREZ," Lester Young. We will play his music throughout the day focusing on the different periods of his illustrious career. And, at 7PM (Pacific), Loren Schoenberg, one of the foremost experts on Lester Young, will delve deep into Lester's career. There will be rare recordings, clips, interviews, and, of course, music. KSDS gets Prezidential- beginning at 7am. 

Monday, February 12, 2024 is Day 5 of The Coltrane Legacy: Take the Blue Train

The photo that became the cover of “Blue Train,” 1957. Photo by Francis Wolff.

By Matt Silver

By mid-September of 1957, John Coltrane had been kicked out of Miles’s band, he’d kicked heroin, and he’d kicked his musical development into overdrive. First by joining Thelonious Monk’s Quartet for a transformative six-month run at The Five Spot in New York City and then by making up for a relatively late debut as a leader by pumping out Prestige recording dates in volume. This prolific recorded output for Prestige would continue in earnest through 1958; it’s no accident that one of those sessions came to be titled Settin’ the Pace.

Thurs. Feb. 8, 2024 is Day 3 of the Coltrane Legacy: Round About Midnight, We're Workin, Steamin, Coolin, and Relaxin

Miles and Trane Phase One: Oct. 1955 to the End of 1956

Coltrane circa 1955-56 while recording “’Round About Midnight” with Miles Davis’s First Great Quintet


By Matt Silver

From June to August 1954, John Coltrane records in Los Angeles with the first saxophonist whose sound he sought to emulate, Duke Ellington’s legendary alto man Johnny Hodges. Up to this point, with the exception of his bebop stint with Dizzy Gillespie from 1949 to 1951,  most of Coltrane’s formal gigs — with Earl Bostic, Billy Valentine, Gay Crosse and even with Johnny Hodges — had been very blues and dance party oriented.

This all changes in the Fall of 1955.

A Man and a Myth Whose Legendary Status Literally Precedes Him

A Glimpse into Coltrane’s Philadelphia through a Side Door

Photograph of The Coltrane House in Philadelphia. Located near the intersection of 33rd and Oxford Streets in the city’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, Coltrane lived here—first with his cousin Mary, then with his first wife Naima and adopted daughter Syeeda—from 1952 to 1958. Photographed here in 1992 by the prolific chronicler of all things Coltrane, Yasuhiro Fujioka.

By Matt Silver

There was something happening in Philadelphia during the period John Coltrane came of age there. He arrived in 1943, shortly after his high school graduation and stayed until late 1957. After kicking heroin in the Strawberry Mansion house he shared with his cousin Mary, first wife Naima, and daughter Syeeda—all soon to be immortalized on Giant Steps — he did as one must when on the cusp of stratospheric artistic innovation; he moved to New York City. He hooked up with Thelonious Monk and, together, they transcended what jazz conception had been to that point. Then it was back to Miles and the new thing, the modal phase. And a year later: Kind of Blue.

Black History Month 2024: KSDS Celebrates the Coltrane Legacy


Why are we at KSDS so compelled to explore the vast reaches of the Coltrane universe? Because, like Everest, it’s there.

By Matt Silver

This February, KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM San Diego celebrates Black History Month by honoring the Coltrane Legacy. Though John Coltrane died at 40, the reach of his musical and spiritual influence was vast during his life and has become something approaching infinite since his death; like the universe, it touches more than we can perceive and comprehend and continues to grow. 

Honoring Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, and its Soundtrack

The Bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. Sept. 15, 1963


By Matt Silver

On this MLK Day, we honor not just Dr. King’s words and actions but those of the broader struggle for civil rights. And we do so, in our small part, by pairing the stories of that era with the artistic response they incited.

Undoubtedly, the tragedies of that period shaped artistic expression as much as the triumphs, if not more so. The 1963 bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. is no exception. We invite you to read a bit about the tragedy below and engage with the following  musical statements, handpicked by our on-air hosts for this MLK Day.

John Coltrane’s “Alabama”

Charles Mingus’s Town Hall Concerts

Ramsey Lewis’s “Wade in the Water”

George Adams’s “Going Home”

Babs Gonzales’s “We Ain’t Got Integration”

Max Roach’s “Let Thy People Go"

Honoring Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, and its Soundtrack

The Freedom Riders


By Matt Silver

On this MLK Day, we honor not just Dr. King’s words and actions but those of the broader struggle for civil rights. And we do so, in our small part, by pairing the stories of that era with the music they inspired.

Read a bit about the Freedom Riders below, and pair with the following tunes, handpicked by our on-air hosts for the occasion:

Art Blakey’s “The Freedom Rider”

Chico Hamilton’s “Freedom Traveler”

Kenny Burrell’s “Freedom”

Dannie Richmond’s “Freedom Ride” (begins @ 8:30)

Honoring Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement, and its Soundtrack

The Selma Marches: March 7-25, 1965


Civil rights marchers rest along the route from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. in March 1965. Photo by Peter Pettus. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

By Matt Silver

In March 1965, beaten and bloodied, civil rights leaders and ordinary citizens persisted in marching from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery. Even after being turned away not once, but twice—first by physical force, then by the legal force of a federal injunction.