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Chi Coltrane, Vienna, 2009.

Chi Coltrane (Chi is pronounced "shy") (born November 16, 1948, Racine, Wisconsin) is best known as an American rock-pop-jazz songwriter, pianist, and singer.


Her best-known song is "Thunder and Lightning," released in January 1972. By November it reached #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, #18 on the Canadian RPM magazine charts, and #4 on the German hit list. (A sample is available online here; the lyrics are available here). It drove her first album, "Chi Coltrane", to stay on the charts for three months. The song "Go Like Elijah" also received considerable airplay.

Coltrane was one of seven children to a Canadian mother and a German violinist father. She studied a number of instruments as a child. Her family moved frequently; her father died when she was ten. She gave her first piano recital at the age of twelve. In 1970, she formed Chicago Coltrane, playing blues, funk and gospel in local Chicago clubs and bars. In 1971 she represented the U.S. at the International Rock Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She appeared on "The Tonight Show" and "The Midnight Special". After her first album was released, she attended the Salter School of Music in Los Angeles, California between 1973 and 1975, and released the album Let It Ride early in 1974 (on the Columbia label), Greatest Hits and Best Of albums in 1975, and in 1977 another album, Road To Tomorrow. She subsequently moved to Europe (mainly Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, where she was voted Best Female Artist for two consecutive years). She released several albums on the Teldec label during the 1980s, including Silk and Steel (1981), Live! in 1982 (it reached #12 on the European charts), Ready to Roll (1983), and The Message (1986).

Golden Classics was released in November 1996 (Collectibles label). She has done TV soundtrack work, and collaborated with Tangerine Dream in 1991. She returned to Los Angeles in 1993, where she started a recording studio and worked with underprivileged groups.

In 2008 Coltrane resumed her music career, releasing a new compilation "Yesterday, Today & Forever". The collection featured material from her 1980s albums "Live!", "Ready to Roll", and "The Message". It also contained three new recordings, including the title track which featured a Paul Buckmaster string arrangement. The album was initially made available at her website.

Coltrane's return to live performing is scheduled for 2009 with performances in Holland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. After this tour she will begin work on an album of all-new material.

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