John Coltrane Alabama

John Coltrane was one of the most important musicians of the 20th century. His saxophone playing revolutionized jazz. On the Sunday morning of September 15, 1963 a dozen sticks of dynamite were planted by white racists in the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. At 10:45 am the bomb went off, killing four young black girls aged between 11 and 14. Coltrane wrote the song Alabama in response to the bombing. He patterned his saxophone playing on Martin Luther King’s funeral speech. Midway through the song, mirroring the point where King transforms his mourning into a statement of renewed determination for the struggle against racism, Elvin Jones’s drumming rises from a whisper to a pounding rage. He wanted this crescendo to signify the rising of the civil rights movement.