Model Trane

Many of the musicians who were close to Trane in the last years of his life believe he knew he didn't have much time, and couldn't wait for others to understand what he was going for. Coltrane once told Miles Davis he was having trouble knowing when to stop his solos. "Take your horn out of your mouth," Davis replied. Trane wasn't satisfied. "If I feel I'm just playing notes in the middle of a solo, I'll try to build things up to the point where inspiration is happening again, where things are spontaneous and not contrived."

Like the great jazz innovators before him, Trane grappled with the paradox of structure and freedom inherent to improvisation. He searched relentlessly for a way to manifest the intangible nature of artistic expression, and propelled the structure of jazz into a new domain. "He had found every deity in every hiding place," Lloyd said. "And then some.

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