Spirit Seeker
John Coltrane's Musical
Journey
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written by Gary Golio
illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Sometimes, when you lose almost everything as a child, there appears a lifeline which
restores your faith and re-ignites your spirit. For John Coltrane, that lifeline was the
saxophone, and the musical dreams it inspired.
Drawn along by saxophone greats like Lester Young and Johnny Hodges, John's life
changed overnight when he heard be-bop master Charlie Parker. Still, the sadness that
had clung to him since childhood--and his father's death--led to drinking and drug use that
finally brought his early success to a standstill. In a moment of great courage, John
remembered the words of his grandfather, Reverend Blair, and cleansed his body of the
deadly habits weighing him down. Following a spiritual revelation, he set free his
enormous talent to soar like an angel of sound. With the creation of his masterpiece
A Love Supreme, he offered a timeless gift of gratitude to the Divine.
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Coming in Fall 2012!
"my music is the spiritual expression of
what I amů. I want to speak to their souls."
John Coltrane
"Joining the high school band, John took his horn everywhere. Music made him happy, and it seemed like
what he was meant to do with his life.
As he listened to Johnny Hodges--a musician in Duke Ellington's band with a sound soft as velvet--John felt
the sax becoming more a part of him. He loved the clicking of the keys, the feel of the mouthpiece between
his lips and teeth, the shine of the brass, and the way it sat on his chest, close to his heart.
As he practiced for hours in the music room, his clear, warm notes floated through the school.
Shy and quiet, he let the horn become his voice."

from Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane's Musical Journey (Little, Brown)
excerpt copyright Gary Golio, all rights reserved, 2013
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