The jazz musician didn't make his burden any lighter by choosing to play tenor and soprano saxophones -- the same instruments his father, John Coltrane, indelibly stamped. But critic Kevin Whitehead says he speaks in his own voice on the album Spirit Fiction.
As a composer, Coleman has been heavily influenced by James Brown's funk. You wouldn't mistake Coleman's band Five Elements for J.B.'s, but like the Godfather of Soul, he goes in for fast, jittery beats on Harvesting Semblances and Affinities.
Rudresh Mahanthappa's Kinsmen blends South Asian music with American jazz. The jazz saxophonist says his inspiration to explore Indian music on the saxophone came from a CD his brother gave him as a joke called Saxophone Indian Style.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert by legendary tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He turns 75 Wednesday. The CD was recorded live at a concert in Boston shortly after Sept. 11, 2001.