Here's Slate's cut of the aforementioned Clive James article on the alleged evils of Coltrane. At some point this week I'll sit down, listen to a few Trane albums with an ear to figuring out why I like them, and hold forth.
I must acknowledge that James knows more about music in general than I do; his learned discourses (or seemingly learned, anyway) on Bach, Schubert and Ellison offer much food for thought. Doesn't mean he's right in his assertion that Jazz actually don't mean a thing if it ain't got that etc. James' anti-Coltrane snark reads a lot like H. L. Mencken's anti-jazz snark; affective and reactionary.
Again, though, my disagreement with James should not be taken for dismissal. I am cherishing his book. He's sniffed out a boatload of witty and intriguing quotes, and even when I sharply disagree with his commentary, I find it worth engaging. He lays out his stances with clarity, even when the rationale for his stances are dubious.