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The Magic of September 23

The day happens to be the birthday of at least six musicians, including John Coltrane, Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen among others


John Coltrane wrote a piece called “Equinox”, signifying the day when night and day are equal. It is an introspective, laid-back piece. Equinox is on September 23rd.

Is there much significance of the positioning of stars, horoscopes, the spatial arrangement of planets on a particular day on musicians? Do we know?

Here is one bit of proof to suggest that there might be a real connection between the birthdays of musicians and their talent and achievements. Sorry cynics…but check out these facts — September 23 happens to be the birthday of at least six musicians who have been huge stars. These musicians are:

John Coltrane

Iconic jazz saxophonist and one of the most dynamic and influential tenor and soprano sax players in the history of jazz. He reinvented himself as a sax player at least three times in his playing career. Starting as a powerful ‘blower,’ Coltrane then teamed up with Miles Davis and was a big contributor to several of Miles’ albums, including Kind of Blue, which remains one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. After leaving Miles Davis, Coltrane discovered a spiritual side to his music and recorded, among others, A Love Supreme, where the music can be felt almost as a psalm of worship. Coltrane died young — in his 40s –but has left behind a huge body of work. Interestingly, there is a church in San Francisco, The St.John Coltrane Church, which has a service and musical sermon every Sunday.

Suggested Coltrane tracks:  There’s plenty of choice but do listen to “Alabama” and “Equinox” to get a feel of his music.

Ray Charles

A total musical genius, Ray Charles started as a blues/R&B singer. He played jazz piano, sang ballads, blues, country and Western, led a jazz big band where he sang and played the tenor saxophone. Anything Ray sang was original and had ‘genius’ written all over it. A movie, Ray, based on his life was made a few years ago.

Suggested listening:  “What’d I Say,” “Georgia on My Mind” and “Hit The Road Jack”

Les McCann

McCann has been a jazz  pianist and vocalist. He has played in multiple styles such as hard bop, groove, soul and blues. His Live at Montreux, Swiss Movement and With Lou Rawls brought him international renown. His live recordings have been very popular, particularly those  in the company of saxophonist Eddie Harris.

Suggested tracks:  “Compared To What” and “A Little ¾ For God & Co”

Frank Foster

Jazz tenor saxophone and flute player. He was a long time lead tenor in the famous Count Basie Band for years where he was responsible for the band’s musical arrangements. After Basie’s death, Foster took over as band leader

Suggested tracks: “Shiny Stockings,” composed by Foster and a well-known Basie standard, and “Two For The Blues”

Bruce Springsteen

Mainstream American rock singer who, after almost three decades of performing, continues to be a very popular contemporary singing artist. He has performed at blues and jazz festivals and is a big crowd-puller.

Suggested tracks: “Born in the USA” and “Dancing in the Dark”

Jeremy Steig

A jazz flautist who has been very popular with studio big bands backing jazz soloists and vocalists. Also featured in Hollywood movie scores.

Suggested tracks: Did not record as a soloist but can be found soloing in several bands, especially those led by Quincy Jones.

So, is there a significance to dates and music?


Editor’s Pick: “Mighty Horns” by Nasha

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