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S.D.
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PostSubject: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:08 pm



You just can't have a jazz board without a Coltrane thread.

In a very short recording career (roughly 1954-1967), John Coltrane managed to master the tenor saxophone, then break down the boundaries of technical proficiency on the instrument, then re-invent what the instrument's role was and created a new vocabulary for it...then left the physical world behind and BECAME the music, artist and instrument as one. Musicians are still trying to figure out all his secrets, but nobody has ever quite captured his style...you can mimic the notes, but you can't imitate the delivery of them.

The majority of his recording career fits nicely into segments.

1955-1959 (The Prestige/Miles Davis era) - During this era Coltrane was in and out of the Miles Davis band on several occasions, in addition to his first recordings as a leader and a 6 month stint with Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot. He recorded prolifically on Prestige as either a leader or sideman (over 25 albums), getting more confident with each session. 1959 was the pivotal year for two reasons. The first was Coltrane's debut recording for Atlantic Records, the second was being part of the legendary Kind Of Blue session.

1960-1961 (The Atlantic/Village Vanguard era) - Coltrane became a legend over the course or this period. His playing seemed to either create adulation or utter hatred among the jazz critics. The Atlantic Recordings are some of his most beautiful, the transition between the earlier bebop based style and the new modal style happens between Giant Steps and My Favorite Things. His switch from harmonic improvisation to melodic based improvisation opened up a new world for Coltrane, one that he would explore in depth for the remainder of his life. He added the Soprano saxophone to his arsenal during this time. The Village Vanguard Recordings also came about in 1961, these sessions were WAY more intense than his studio albums...his collaborations with Eric Dolphy had opened Coltrane's mind to the Ornette Coleman influence and the Vanguard recordings express this creative explosion. Many critics lambasted Coltrane for the album released from those dates...which prompted Trane to calm things down a little for his first few Impulse! albums.

1962-1964 (The Classic Quartet) - Here is the meat and potatoes of Coltrane's recorded legacy. An almost endless stream of classics started flowing from this band, he found the perfect partners in Elvin Jones & McCoy Tyner (and usually Jimmy Garrison on bass). This group is considered one of the most important in the history of jazz and it's not hard to see why. Coltrane during this era STILL sounds ahead of his time, it's like music from the future, a future that mankind isn't quite ready for. Coltrane continued his spiritual journey, his solos were his prayers. Albums like Crescent, A Love Supreme and Duke Ellington & John Coltrane should be in every music collection.

1965-1967 (exploring new horizons) - Never one to rest on his laurels, Coltrane disbanded the quartet in 1965 when he felt they had reached the apex of what they could achieve. He then formed a new adventurous group with his wife Alice on piano, Rasheed Ali on drums and sometimes guest Pharoah Sanders. This band recorded furiously, leaving no avenue unexplored. Sometimes songs would stretch on for over an hour...a basic set for this band was 3 songs with a break in between each song. Near the end he recorded the amazing Interstellar Space which is just a duet between him and Rasheed on drums. I've talked to many sax players who state the stuff Coltrane plays on this album is basically almost technically impossible.

and then, he was gone. But his legacy had really just begun...



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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:14 pm

I'm lovin' Coltrane. You introduced me to the Miles/Coltrane stuff which is great, but I really dig on the Classic Quartet box. My next big purchase will be the Complete Atlantic Recordings box. The man was smooth and emotional.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:45 am

Coltrane is good schtuff mayne but I rarely listen to his stuff when I'm in a Jazz mood. I don't know why b/c I got at least 10-20 albums.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:41 am

There's enough variety in Coltrane's catalog to find music for a variety of moods. But, Coltrane is always intense, even when playing ballads...so I sometimes have to be in the right frame of mind to receive what he's putting out there.

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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:19 pm

That's prolly my problem too, I usually reach for Sun Ra, Charles Earland, Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Return To Forever, Charles Mingus, Tony Williams Lifetime or Pharaoh Sanders.


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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:13 am

Based on the stuff you just mentioned...you should hear the following:

Ole Coltrane (Atlantic 1961)
The Complete Africa/Brass (Impulse 1961)
Coltrane (Impulse 1962)

That's prior to A Love Supreme era by a couple years, but is no less essential.

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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:03 pm

I got the Coltrane album and it is good, gotta get the rest you mentioned.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:06 am

My 10 track "Best of John Coltrane" cd just ain't cutting it no more. I need to dig a little deeper here. Would A Love Supreme be a good launching pad? I just need a little something more than a hits comp to scratch my itch when I'm in a jazzy mood.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:53 am

MetalGuy71 wrote:
My 10 track "Best of John Coltrane" cd just ain't cutting it no more. I need to dig a little deeper here. Would A Love Supreme be a good launching pad? I just need a little something more than a hits comp to scratch my itch when I'm in a jazzy mood.

Coltrane is the apex of jazz in my opinion. I have a 3 disc retrospective I can send you. http://www.vervemusicgroup.com/artist/music/detail.aspx?pid=9449&aid=2660

It doesn't have a back tray, but I can send you the cover and discs if you want. For free, of course.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:09 pm

That retrospective Spec is offering is a great snapshot of his Impulse era recordings.

Which "best of John Coltrane" disc do you currently have?




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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:25 pm

S.D. wrote:
That retrospective Spec is offering is a great snapshot of his Impulse era recordings.

Which "best of John Coltrane" disc do you currently have?




I have this one...



http://www.amazon.com/Very-Best-John-Coltrane/dp/B000046PVI/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_6

It was an impulse buy years ago when Tower was shutting down. I think I grabbed it for a buck. It was fine for an introduction, but last night as I was assembling a jazz playlist, I realized I could use something more from the man. I don't have the time or resources to dive headfirst into his huge body of work, but I can dig a little deeper, ya know.

Quote :
It doesn't have a back tray, but I can send you the cover and discs if you want. For free, of course.

If you're offering them, I'll take 'em off your hands.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:29 pm

Okay, that collection only contains material from his "Atlantic Records" recordings. Spec's retrospective is from his Impulse! recordings which is the label he moved to after Atlantic. Stylistically it's quite different. His Prestige recordings from the earlier part of his career are also definitely worth exploring.


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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:35 pm

Quote :
Stylistically it's quite different

Different how? Does he rap? Razz Actually, the clips I'm hearing on Amazon sounds quite nice.

I'm no afficiando in the genre, I'm just looking for a pleasant alternative to the metal and rock I typically listen to. I find the smooth instrumentals sooth my mind and lower my blood pressure while I'm writing out bills at my desk.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Well, the Atlantic recordings are kind of a "bridge" between the Prestige and Impulse. In the Prestige era he was still playing bop related lines over chord changes, on Atlantic he started exploring modal improvisation over vamps, that continued into his Impulse era. Around 1965 his playing got further "out" as you'll hear in that collection. It was all an arc, he pioneered many things in a very short period of time. His recording career only lasted 12 years but nobody has really ever surpassed any of it since...kind of like the Hendrix of the jazz world.

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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:12 am

It would take me years of listening to even begin to understand all those details you provided. I'm such a novice when it comes to jazz that I just lump everything I hear into 2 choices. I either like it or I don't.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:16 am

I was lucky enough to have a couple very educated musicians teach me about jazz, both had masters degrees in jazz composition so I learned all the technical aspects very quickly. I could "hear" all the differences prior to them explaining what it was called, but their help was invaluable.

Don't make the mistake of only exploring Miles and Coltrane though, too many people concentrate on just those two artists and they miss the plethora of other directions and styles that are out there. Kind of like only eating chocolate cake and steak for every meal.

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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:17 pm

S.D. wrote:

Don't make the mistake of only exploring Miles and Coltrane though, too many people concentrate on just those two artists and they miss the plethora of other directions and styles that are out there. Kind of like only eating chocolate cake and steak for every meal.


Well said...well said indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:17 pm

Been jammin' a lot of 'Trane today after seeing SD jam "Soultrane". I must say it was very much necessary. It made me so mellow I didn't even work out, I just went outside and enjoyued the cool evening air.
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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:24 am

Coltrane works wonderfully as "soul cleansing" music. To paraphrase Art Blakey - "Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life"


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PostSubject: Re: the John Coltrane thread   Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:17 pm

Akeldama wrote:
I just went outside and enjoyued the cool evening air.


I did that briefly last night when I went to turn off the sprinklers in the front yard.


Just stood there and actually enjoyed the evening air!


It was nice........
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