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© Francis Wolff, 1957
John Coltrane, Blue Train session, Hackensack, NJ, September 15, 1957.
Perhaps the two most famous photographs of John Coltrane are this one and the candid photo by Bob Thiele that graced the cover of A Love Supreme. A cropped version of this Francis Wolff photograph became the cover for Blue Train, Coltrane’s only Blue Note album and his first recorded masterpiece. Pulling back to view the full image, Blue Note founder and producer Alfred Lion is seen behind Coltrane. For years, many jazz fans, especially those that had once played saxophone, thought the Coltrane was moistening a reed in his mouth as saxophonists were wont to do before putting the reed on their mouthpiece. When we developed the full image, it became evident that John Coltrane at that moment in the Blue Train session was deep in thought and sucking on a lollipop!" --Michael Cuscuna