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Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008
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“Weatherford’s evocative poem traces Coltrane’s influences simply and stunningly. Qualls’s muted palette of rich hues suggests the smoky jazz moods he would create.”
—School Library Journal
“Even children who are unfamiliar with jazz in general and John Coltrane in particular may find their interest piqued.”
“Will echo with contemporary children, who will recognize the music in their daily lives.”
“This is as much a subtle invitation for children to listen to their own worlds as it is a Coltrane biography.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
"Before John was a jazz giant,
he heard big bands on the radio
and a saxophone's soulful solo,
blue notes crooning his name."
Sean Qualls's soulful and thoughtful artwork, especially the wide-eyed depiction of Coltrane as a boy, brings a lot to the poetic tale. In the back, under the Author's Note, there is a clear, concise mini biography of John Coltrane, a revolutionary jazz composer and saxophonist. There are additional musical and book recommendations. A combination lesson of `listen and learn' after reading this book would be a fun classroom activity!
Always moving, geniuses do not just pop out of thin air. They study, and they learn; they create themselves. The world is full of mundane things. Kitchen pots clang. Trains whistle. People laugh, and they cry. Beauty is difficult to hear. However, the genius is "all ears."
Open this book. Pulsing brilliance will pour forth - filling your world, your breath. Alliteration, rhythm, and illustration unite into mastery. You will hear and see music.
Art does travel a long way. Suddenly though, it appears, and the ordinary becomes a greatness never heard before. Look. Listen. John Coltrane is alive.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My son and I loved this book. The rhythm of it is lovely and it taught us about Mr. Coltrane, too!Published 15 months ago by R.A. White
I thought this book was alright. The pictures were appealing in that they looked real life forms. I like how book mentions John growing up and heard the everyday noises which... Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by Stephj3
This is wonderful story about a boy who loves sounds. He listens to everything from "hambones knocking in Grandma's pots, Daddy strumming the ukulele and mama cranking the... Read morePublished on June 2, 2012 by sandrak
Carole Boston Weatherford depicted what life was like for John Coltrane when he was a young boy in the book Before John Was A Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane. Read morePublished on May 15, 2011 by my2kidsarecrazy
We read this to our 7 month-old babies almost every night. It's a beautiful poem, and even a couple of months ago it was the book which most captured their fleeting attention. Read morePublished on November 13, 2010 by Holly M.