An important addition to the other writeups: Trane (by some accounts) singlehandedly made the soprano saxophone cool with his 1960 album My Favorite Things. The title track is a cover of the Rodgers & Hammerstein song from The Sound of Music, and Coltrane uses the familiar melody as a takeoff point for some amazing improvisations that bridge traditional and free jazz. I found this album to be really helpful in developing my ability to understand abstract jazz.