JOHN WILLIAM COLTRANE belongs to those rare musicians who transform the stylistic universe of their generation. Coltrane was a genius, and without his contribution, jazz in the Sixties wouldn’t have enjoyed its freedom. He transfigured not only melody, and harmony, but revolutionised the entire spirit of jazz. Like a painter seeking to reproduce the richness of his mind on a canvas of only two dimensions, Coltrane restituted a personal mental universe in his music and never duplicated forms and patterns already used. The microcosm of jazz in the Fifties didn’t find Coltrane convincing at first, but his relentless effort and visceral desire to convey his own truth catapulted him to the summits and made him the undisputed leader of modern jazz. Coltrane’s music is a personal message, so I sit down and listen.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.