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How John Coltrane’s ‘My Favorite Things’ Changed American Music

They gathered one afternoon in late October of 1960, at the Atlantic Records studios in a nondescript building at 234 West 56th Street in New York: pianist McCoy Tyner, just 21, a prodigy from Philadelphia; Steve Davis, upright bass, 31, also from Philly; and Elvin Jones, at 33 a veteran drummer who had played with everyone from Art Farmer and Pepper Adams to Gil Evans and Miles Davis. It’s a timeless song and quite possibly the most American recording in history. The recording is not in or of the melting pot. It is the melting pot. “My Favorite Things,” from its opening cymbal crash, was the first, undeniable blast.