Talk:Saint John Coltrane Church
"Saxophonist" vs. "composer"
If I were to pick one, I would pick saxophonist over composer -- Coltrane's greatest influence was as an improviser and instrumentalist, not as a writer. He wrote some great stuff, but wasn't focused on composition like Ellington, say, or Monk, and, unlike those two, his tunes have not become widespread standards, the only real exception being "Giant Steps." Moreover, unlike Ellington or Monk, much of Coltrane's recorded and performing legacy is based on other people's tunes: many of his key tracks were written by other people ("My Favourite Things," "Body and Soul," "Afro Blue," etc...) A few exceptions aside, this isn't composer's music. The written parts of most of his tunes fit comfortably on an index card (a melody and the chord changes) and exist largely as vehicles fore improvisation, with no real orchestration or any of the other trappings of composition. He was a sax player. He wrote some good tunes, but it's what he played on the sax and the language he developed as an improviser that define his work/legacy. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:10, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
- (As the person who changed this), I don't hold a particularly strong opinion. "saxophonist", "composer", composer and saxophonist", "saxophonist and composer" are all okay with me. You're obviously much more familiar with Coltrane's work than I am, and I trust your judgement in this. Carpetsmoker (talk) 18:39, 13 November 2015 (UTC)