John Coltrane on Giant Steps and Being The Force Of Good

“I want to be the force which is truly for good.”
– John Coltrane in 1966, as told Frank Kofsky

One afternoon in November 1966, Frank Kofsky took the train out to Long Island. He was about to spend the day with John Coltrane. Kofsky brought his tape recorder and what we get to hear is the conversation the two men had as they drove through town and made a few stops along the way.

Coltrane had moved to Huntington, New York with his wife Alice and their children in 1964. They lived in a modest house on a quiet, tree-lined street. It was a home to raise a family. Coltrane had just turned 40. He would die from liver cancer less than a year later.

During this episode Coltrane talks about moving to the country, setting up to practice, connecting with the sound of an instrument, Malcolm X, music as means of expressing that state of society, and how he wanted to change the world.

“In any situation that we find in our lives, when there’s something we feel should be better, we must exert effort to try and make it better.”