Friday, December 30, 2005

Talkin' Trane (cont.)

The key to Coltrane is found not in how or what he played but why he played the way, he did. Musically he was a genius and a trendsetter. Practicing for hours a day, he developed unprecedented speed that awed all who heard. But why did he play the way he did? What pushed him to play scales at such mind-boggling, even manic speeds? In, Spirit Catcher: The Life and Art of John Coltrane, John Fraim chronicles the struggles, triumphs and spiritual transformation of this man who was reared in his grandfather’s church and was familiar with the ways of God. He had a substance abuse problem and eventually he moved in with his mother and began playing less and abusing drugs and alcohol more. “However, this time he must have sensed that some final decision had to be made if he was going to reach his full potential as a musician: he would have to decide once and for all if he was going to live the rest of his life as a drug addict or as a musician.” (p33) He sought the support of his wife and mother and then sought sanctuary in his room, praying and seeking God’s help to withstand the pain of withdrawals. Four days later he emerged a changed man, God had met him in a most unusual way... the result being that he began to play his instrument for a different reason. To truly truly hear Coltrane we must know what happened to him in that room. Have you ever had an experience with God that was so personal, so utterly amazing that you couldn't describe it? How has it affected you? Do you savor the moment or has the moment sent you on a pursuit to find it again? To be continued...


Post a Comment

<< Home