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John Coltrane

Signifyin(g) with the Dead:<br>Musical memorialization at John Coltrane’s Funeral

Signifyin(g) with the Dead:
Musical memorialization at John Coltrane’s Funeral

A feature by Kevin Laskey

Because of Coltrane’s musical stature and the public nature of his funeral, the performances by Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman had the power to establish the conventions of a modern jazz requiem—how to properly memorialize a member of the jazz community. In their performances, Ayler and Coleman memorialized Coltrane not through imitation or pale attempts at resurrection, but by organically integrating aspects of Coltrane’s playing into their own distinct styles—a form of musical signifyin(g).