John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.
Starting in bebop and hard bop, Coltrane later pioneered free jazz. He influenced generations of other musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He was astonishingly prolific: he made about fifty recordings as a leader in his twelve-year-long recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis. As his career progressed, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist.
He received a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."