[Fwd: Re: [COLTRANE-L] Sun Ra connection]

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#1 Wed, 2000-03-01 14:46
tom moore
Last seen: 9 years 9 months ago
Joined: 2010-12-22 23:45

[Fwd: Re: [COLTRANE-L] Sun Ra connection]

I saw this on the Coltrane List.

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: [COLTRANE-L] Sun Ra connection Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 17:26:32 -0500 From: Jim Chiarelli jchiarelli@EARTHWATCH.ORG Reply-To: jchiarelli@EARTHWATCH.ORG To: COLTRANE-L@LISTSERV.UH.EDU References: 20000301180101.1477.qmail@hotmail.com

Rodrigo Freitas wrote:

I've been reading Valerie Wilmer's classic book

on 60's avant garde - AS SERIOUS AS YOUR LIFE - which I bought recently. On a very interesting passage, she says:

"It was during this period that John Coltrane was playing with Miles Davis. Pat Patrick introduced the saxophonist to him (Sun Ra)... As a result of reading Sun Ra's literature, he managed to break a heavy drug habit, and three months after taking the Arkestra's records to study, he left Davis and started to take a new direction in both his musical and personal life. Coltrane was not alone; several notable players have been helped straighten their tangled lives and kick their addiction through the pianist's wisdom..."

I have never heard nor read anywhere of such a direct connection between Coltrane and Sun Ra, particularly with reference to Sunny helping Trane break his various addictions. But here's something possibly germane: at one of the Miles Davis Conferences organized by Prof. Gerald Early at Washington University in St Louis (the 3rd and final one in 1997) bassist Richard Davis was a panelist in one of the sessions and he was describing being one of a coterie of young musicians gathered around Sun Ra in Philadelphia in the 50s. Richard Davis said that Sun Ra was instrumental in helping many musicians kick habits of various sorts, drugs in particular, though Coltrane was not mentioned specifically. My notes from that day are a bit sketchy but Richard Davis told a story of witnessing Sunny sober up an un-named musician by making him listen to (or play with -- my notes aren't clear) the group on chorus after chorus of "Body and Soul," taking it more and more "out" with each chorus.

Jim Chiarelli

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