John Coltrane knew by age 12 that the saxophone was his instrument – and that music would serve as an anchor for him during difficult times. At 13, his father died and his mother moved to New Jersey, leaving him alone and to fend for himself. Yet at every stage of his hard life, which ended at age 41, Coltrane’s unique musical abilities developed and ultimately propelled him to greatness in the United States and around the world. Even after soaring to success, Coltrane never stopped searching for musical breakthroughs, for ways to push boundaries, even if audiences sometimes found that challenging. An impressive roster of jazz legends and other notable personalities (Wynton Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Carlos Santana, Bill Clinton, Cornell West) reflect on Coltrane’s talent and importance, which remain undiminished despite the brevity of his career.