From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Although recordings of his work from as early as 1946 exist, Coltrane's recording career did not begin in earnest until 1955. From 1957 onward he recorded and produced dozens of albums, many of them not released until years after his death.
A hugely influential jazz musician, Coltrane has been credited with reshaping modern jazz and with being the predominant influence on successive generations of saxophonists. Along with tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Sonny Rollins, Coltrane fundamentally altered expectations for the instrument.
Coltrane received a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."