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- Wikipedia: John Coltrane affirms Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual aspect up to his death in 1967 from liver cancer at the age of 40. “As his career progressed, Coltrane and his music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension.” (first sentence, second paragraph)
Don't just take Wikipedia's word for it. Consider the liner notes from the collaborative Bob Thiele produced album, "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman," and the 'effusive' liner notes by poet and author, A. B. Spellman:
“The quartet (John Coltrane/tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner/piano, Jimmy Garrison/double bass, Elvin Jones/drums) has been, till now (up to 1963) , concerned with other things, with the development of a kinetic vernacular which facilitated the release of a kind of group energy that was deeper in content and fuller in emotional color than any music I have experienced, anywhere.” (bold not in original) (quoted in “A Look Back at John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman,” Rusty Aceves, September 19, 2016).
Coltrane was not the first jazz person to promote spirituality in jazz because Duke Ellington and company had already done so in Ellington's "Black, Brown, and Tan Fantasy." See the article "Shadow Play: The Spiritual in Duke Ellington's "Black and Tan Fantasy," David Metzer, Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Autumn, 1997), pp. 137-158. Additionally, the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams, a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1956, wrote and performed spiritually oriented music, including especially Mary Lou's Mass. Here is the relevant section from Wikipedia: Mary Lou Williams:
“One of the masses, "Music for Peace," was choreographed by the Alvin Ailey and performed by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater as Mary Lou's Mass in 1971. About the work, Ailey commented, "If there can be a Bernstein Mass, a Mozart Mass, a Bach Mass, why can't there be Mary Lou's Mass?" Williams performed the revision of Mary Lou's Mass, her most acclaimed work, on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971.
She wrote and performed religious jazz music such as "Black Christ of the Andes" (1963), a hymn in honor of the St. Martin de Porres; two short works, "Anima Christi" and "Praise the Lord." In this period, Williams put much effort into working with youth choirs to perform her works, including mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City before a gathering of over three thousand. . . . As a February 21, 1964 Time article explained, "Mary Lou thinks of herself as a 'soul' player — a way of saying that she never strays far from melody and the blues, but deals sparingly in gospel harmony and rhythm. 'I am praying through my fingers when I play,' she says.'I get that good "soul sound", and I try to touch people's spirits.'"
. . . . In April 1975, she played her highly regarded jazz spiritual, "Mary Lou's Mass" at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. It marked the first time a jazz musician had played at the church. (bold not in original)