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We may never know why John and Alice Coltrane chose Dix Hills as the place they would want to live and raise their family, but they did.

About 30 miles from Manhattan, centrally located on Long Island, in the Town of Huntington, NY, Dix Hills was considered “out in the country” in 1964.

Sitting on 3.4 wooded acres is a once beautiful brick and wood frame “Farm Ranch” home. Four bedrooms, expansive living room, studio in the basement and a practice room above the garage.

The Coltrane Home – August 2012

The Coltrane Home in 2004, when abandoned by the Developer who planned to demolish it

The street entrance is protected by a tall wrought iron fence and large gates clearly stating that someone important lives here. The white Jaguar XKE sat at the end of the long driveway, but the station wagon was the car used most often.

This was the home of a man, famous throughout the world, yet it was a place to raise his children … a family home.

Photo by Hozumi Nakadeira c.1971
Courtesy of Yasuhiro “Fuji” Fujioka
Photo by Hozumi Nakadeira c.1971
Courtesy of Yasuhiro “Fuji” Fujioka

Photo by Hozumi Nakadeira c.1971
Courtesy of Yasuhiro “Fuji” Fuji

A recollection of the time in Dix Hills ……

The Coltranes moved to this home in the summer of 1964. This is the home where he was inspired to write his most famous work, A Love Supreme. Author Ashley Kahn, wrote a book, A Love Supreme, The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album, which tells of the making of the album and its significance in the world.

Mr. Kahn wrote:

For Coltrane, 1964 had been a period of nonstop work. His booking agency, Shaw Artists, had him crisscrossing the country for most of the summer in a station wagon with his quartet. Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, San Francisco. Back to New York. He needed a few weeks off, and he had the perfect excuse. On August 26, his first son was born. John and Alice brought John Jr. home to their recently purchased two-story house in Dix Hills, a quiet section of Long Island, New York. For Coltrane, it was a rare opportunity to put his horn down, his feet up, and just be with his family.

But Coltrane’s obsessive nature would not let him rest. For five days he had secluded himself upstairs with pen, paper and saxophone. ‘It was late summer, or early fall, because the weather was nice at the time in New York,’ recalls Alice. There was an unoccupied area up there where we hardly ever went, sometimes a family member would visit [and] would stay there. John would go up there, take little portions of food every now and then, spending his time pondering over the music he heard within himself.’ .

Alice remained busy with John Jr. and Michelle, her four-year-old by her first marriage. When he finally reappeared, she noticed that Coltrane—normally deep in thought—was unusually serene.

It was like Moses coming down the mountain, it was so beautiful. He walked down and there was that joy, that peace in his face, tranquility. So I said, “Tell me everything, we didn’t see you really for four or five days…” He said, “This is the first time that I have received all of the music for what I want to record, in a suite. This is the first time I have everything, everything ready.”

Three months later, Coltrane stepped into a recording studio to shape the results of his meditations into an album layered with music and meaning, like nothing he had ever produced. A Love Supreme was the title he had already chosen for his ambitious project.

Printed with permission of Mr. Ashley Kahn