Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Ravi Coltrane

It must have taken a great deal of courage for Ravi Coltrane to pick up the tenor and soprano saxophones, being the son of John Coltrane. But Ravi has rarely ever sounded like his late father (who passed away when Ravi was two) and has carved out his own place in the music. Born in New York in 1965, Ravi (who was named after Ravi Shankar) was raised by his mother Alice Coltrane, who taught him music but did not push him to adopt it as his career. Ravi took his time and was in his early twenties before he began seriously performing, studying in 1986 at the California Institute of the Arts. He worked with Elvin Jones, Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Rashied Ali, Wallace Roney, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Joanne Brackeen and Branford Marsalis.

Coltrane appeared on over 30 recordings as a sideman before he finally made his first CD as a leader, Moving Pictures, in 1998, when he was already 33. At that point in time, Coltrane sounded closer to Branford Marsalis than to John Coltrane, and he was judged on his own merit. He has since grown from year to year to become more original and a vital force on his instruments, as he shows on such recordings as From the Round Box, Mad 6 and In Flux. Ravi helped persuade his mother to come out of retirement and he produced (and played on) her last recording, Translinear Light. In 2002, Ravi Coltrane founded RKM Music and has since produced several recordings by other artists, in addition to working regularly with his own group.