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the Lineage of Spirit-Music
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Music as the Natural Language of Spirit

John Coltrane as a catalyst for spiritual revelation in focused psychedelic experiences

Quotes from Musicians and Others on Coltrane, Spirituality and Psychedelics
Sam Andrew
Guitarist and founding member of (Janis Joplin's) Big Brother and the Holding Company
"I took LSD and listened to Coltrane a lot; a lot of people did."
Carlos Santana
(more Santana quotes at the bottom of the page)
"John Coltrane is still probably one of the greatest musicians of this century. His tone truly puts demons on a leash. His gift is directly from the mind of God and is very powerful. ..... The first time I heard a Love Supreme, it was really an assault. It could've been from mars as far as i was concerned, or another galaxy.
I remember the album cover and the name, but the music didn't fit into the patterns of my brain at that point. It was like someone trying to tell a monkey about spirituality or computers, you know, it just didn't compute."
Phil Lesh
of the Grateful Dead on 'a Love Supreme'
"That's one of the records I would hear walking through the Haight on a spring night, all over town."
Jason Mraz
touring with Tracy Chapman, Jewel and Dave Matthews Band; from Rolling Stone April 9 2003
"When Jason Mraz was fresh out of high school, studying to be a musical-theater actor in New York,
he had a life-changing revelation while listening to John Coltrane at a party.
"It was the first time I ever did LSD, and it was the first time I ever really listened to jazz,"
says Mraz, 25. "Coltrane's sax sounded like a voice. I realized that's how I wanted my voice to be.

Robbie Kreiger
with The DOORS on John Coltrane
My Favorite Things (Atlantic, 1961) - “The chords in ‘Light My Fire’ are based on Coltrane’s version of this song. He just solos over A minor and B minor, which is exactly what we did. Coltrane had played with Miles on Kind of
Blue and took the idea of modal soloing over one or two chords farther out than anybody. He was a real pioneer - he just kept evolving, going where no one had ever gone. He could always attain this state of ecstasy when he
played. Live, there was so much energy, you couldn’t believe it. He would play for hours. It was indescribable.”

Maurice White
of Earth, Wind and Fire
"I remember when A love Supreme was released - I heard it at a friends house. ... Man it was incredible. That record sounded different than the rest. I was trying to gather my spirituality together, trying to get an understanding of life ..... I felt Coltrane was the first musician who made a transition from one side to the other."
 Peter Buck
of Pop Group REM on A love Supreme
"... a blast from another planet for me .... there are lots of pictures of america in that thing,
without Coltrane making any kind of conscious political statement."
lead singer of Rock/Pop group U2
"I was at the top of the Grand Hotel in Chicago (on tour 1987) listening to 'a Love Supreme' and learning the lesson of a lifetime. Earlier i had been watching televangelists remake God in their own image: tiny, petty and greedy. I knew from my earliest memories that the world was winding in a direction away from love, and I too was caught in it's drag.
There is so much wickedness in this world but beauty is our consolation prize ..... the beauty of john Coltrane's
reedy voice, it's whispers, it's knowingness, it's sly sexuality, it's praise of creation.
And so Coltrane began to make sense to me.
I left the music on repeat and I stayed awake listening to a man facing God with the gift of his music."
Ravi Shankar
80+yr old Indian Sitar Master and friend of Coltrane's responding to his first(!) listening to 'a Love Supreme' in 2001
"I have been so moved by this record. I have heard it already 3 or 4 times, and played it for
musicians who are with me now. It's beautiful, especially the climax in the third movement, then
the resolution of the whole last piece. Reading the sleeve notes i was so surprised by his total
surrendering and believing and his love for God. I thank you so much for sending me this."
Patti Smith
rocker, poet
"I cant say why it's so popular, but perhaps it fulfills people's need for prayer,
'a Love Supreme' has a feeling of moral authority in the most humble and spiritual way"
Alice Coltrane
"Call it Universal Consciousness, Supreme Being, Nature, God.
Call this force by any name you like, but it was there,
and its presence was so powerfully felt by most people that it was almost palpable"
Reggie Workman
Legendary Jazz Bassist
"you will get the message (of A love Supreme) if you are ready for it, as Hindu philosophy teaches us,
if you're not ready for it, you got to go back and prepare and come that way again. OK?"
Albert Ayler:
All I do is meditate--I practice and I meditate. You have to go all the way, because
that's what Coltrane did. The picture that he showed me when I looked into his eyes,
that was the universal man. All of this music is purely music of love.
While it comes from meditation, it has nothing to do with mysticism.
It tries to help bring about new approaches to living for everyone.
John McLaughlin
Jazz, Fusion, rock and classical Guitarist & composer
M: "To be honest i didn't get any of it on first listening, I actually couldn't understand what he was playing musically or what he was feeling emotionally"
I: In gaining an understanding of Coltrane's lines, was it a matter of writing them out, or was it all just absorbed with the heart?
M: What I couldn't understand was the level he was operating on, the level that he lived on In fact, A Love Supreme was the first record that went over my head. I just couldn't grasp it until a couple of years after I'd first heard it. It was just astounding.
I: Spiritually as well as musically?
M: Yeah, but spiritual and artistic levels are the same - there's no difference.
Anonymous Reviewer on Amazon
Coltrane was an alien, angel, or some other formation of being granted upon this earth by a celestial being.
His path is messianic, but not egocentric. Coltrane represents the pinnacle of what music should be- balanced extensions of the artist’s aesthetical/spiritual ideas mixed with a universal awareness for the world that surrounds them. Ascension is not background music. Ascension is the music of life.
William G. Carter
© Presbybop Music.from internet essay: Sing A New Song- Jazz and Faith -
This address was presented at the 1997 Institute of Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
"There's an apocryphal story about a music critic who, years later, asked him the same question Miles Davis used to ask,
"Why do you play so many notes?"
Coltrane said, "I'm looking for the right note."
The interviewer said, "What if you should find it?"
Coltrane thought for a minute, and said, "I'll play it again."
Within this music, you can often hear a yearning for transcendence. We desire to sound the right note, the holy note, the beautiful note."
Carlos Santana,
Guitarist and Spiritual healer

"I'm not trippin' on that at all.
All I want to do is to turn people on to John Coltrane and Bob Marley.
I'm not a show business guy at all."
~from Earpollution music magazine

"I’ve known for a long time that John Coltrane and Bob Marley re-arrange your molecular structure.
I wanted to be part of that. I said to Mr. Clive Davis before I signed the contract that I want to help unify the molecules with the light.’
He said, ‘How do you want to do that?’ ’"
Zannah: Who do you hold in high regard as being fueled by divine inspiration?
How do you perceive this state of enlightenment benefiting others?
Carlos: John Coltrane is still probably one of the greatest musicians of this century.
His tone truly puts demons on a leash. His gift is directly from the mind of God and is very powerful."

"I'm very grateful to John Coltrane and to Martin Luther King. Because they are the
ones who said to me, "What are you going to do in your life? Where is your promise?".
Some people will always say,"Hey man, it's just rock 'n roll". But sooner or later,
when you're all alone, you have to take something seriously."

"wanted to learn why I was so fascinated with Coltrane and that sky-church music,
as Jimi called it. So I got together with [pianist and harpist] Alice Coltrane, and I
found out why she writes, and how she writes those celestial strings. It's important
for guitarists to listen to her and [tenor saxophonist] Pharaoh Sanders."

"I haven't heard anything higher than 'The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost'
from the Meditations album. I would often play it at four in the morning, the traditional
time for meditation. I could hear God's mind in that music, influencing John Coltrane.
I heard the Supreme One playing music through John Coltrane's mind"

Q: Why is John Coltrane a musician who models that spirit for you?
Carlos Santana "Coltrane's commitment is in his sound, and as Charlie Parker says, "If you don't live it, it ain't gonna come out."
John Coltrane represented getting to the Promised Land without the needle. He took the keys from hell with his sound, telling us that
we don't have to do drugs in order to be connected anywhere from the microcosm to the top of the galaxy. He made a different kind of commitment with music. Bob Marley did this with the groove and the lyrics and so was able to produce a type of intoxication.

But Coltrane went another kind of way. His sound is the sound I most like; it has no shadows.
Sometimes it's hard to hear. I say to myself, "O God, I only have two ears and a heart!"
It's like 240 voltage while the rest of us are running on 120.
So I have to be clear and go to an area where I can take it--that is,
when he's just playing the blues and ballads for common folks who are lovers.
But other times I'm hungry for a different kind of romance, and that's when I play his soulful music.

When you hear this second kind of Coltrane music, the only way you can describe it is the way you would describe Machu Picchu in the Andes mountains. It's a whole other level of high consciousness that causes the slicksters and the hipsters and anyone else to say, "Hey, this is not coming from an intellectual trip or some dude trying to show off."
When he starts a solo with his saxophone,
it actually sounds like his heart is made out of light,
and it is coming out of the horn; the horn is rumbling,
and all of the keys are shooting off light.
Coltrane has come the closest to connecting the alpha to the omega through sound."
~Carlos Santana
John Coltrane is
Doctor Recommended
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