One of the great tenor (and soprano) saxophone voices, composer John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926. The Music Division has a number of lead sheets that Coltrane submitted to copyright for compositions such as “Blue Train” and “Moment’s Notice.” The Library is also home to a set of tapes recorded at a performance by Coltrane and Thelonious Monk at Carnegie Hall in 1957. The tapes were discovered in the collection by Reference Specialist Larry Appelbaum, who at the time was a Recording Engineer in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. In a documentary about the discovery and release of the tapes, Larry spoke of the moment he realized the magnitude of his discovery: “I thought, well, it’s possible this is a rare unpublished recording by Monk. And then when we went to digitize the tape, I heard the tenor saxophonist in the quartet – and I knew it was John Coltrane. My heart started to race! ”
On this first full day of autumn, remember Trane with the 1960 recording of “Equinox” on the album Coltrane’s Sound . Or just listen to him all day, starting with his contribution to Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (named to the National Recording Registry in 2002), classic Atlantic recordings like “Giant Steps” (named to the National Recording Registry in 2004), and the exploratory masterpiece A Love Supreme.
For more autumnal music, see the Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800-1922 in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia for titles like “Al Trahern’s “Harvest Moon,” (not to be confused with Nora Bayes’ more famous “Shine on Harvest Moon” version, also recorded by Tiny Tim).