During the late 1950's and the 1960's saxophonist John Coltrane astounded other musicians with his incredible outpouring of harmonically oriented scales and melodies. He played swing, rhythm and blues, bebop, cool, third stream and hard bop. He then went on to a more abstract free form style of jazz. Playing with him in his quartet were McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. With his virtuosity at inside playing well known, he helped establish the legitimacy of exploratory outside playing, and became a guru for many musicians of his time. John Coltrane continues to be influential among today's young players.
John Coltrane will appear on a United States Postal Service stamp for release in 1995.