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Thread: John Coltrane!!

  1. #26
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Thanks for all the insightfull comments guys! Discusions like this one are the reason I like this site so much.
    TBH, You have/own the Coltrane period that I'm not that interested in... Never was a bop jazz fan... In the 80's, via Bitches Brew and Caravanserai, I got to discover modal jazz and Coltrane was the main brick in that wall.

    Trane's music for Impulse! (maybe my fave jazz label >> Mingus' Black Saint & Lady Sinner is also on Impulse!) certainly was the basis for The New Thing and "Spiritual Jazz" (the term has only existed for the last 15 years, just like "post bop" was also a revisionist tag), and it certainly lead to some of the most enthralling music in the blissed era of 63 to 79 and that still has repercussions on today's jazz (Kamasi Washington, Ibrahim Maalouf & Co)
    Last edited by Trane; 09-09-2017 at 05:43 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    I'm mainly only familiar with the Impulse! era records, which I think are mostly brilliant. My favorites are:

    Africa/Brass
    Live At Village Vanguard
    A Love Supreme
    Impressions
    John Coltrane Quartet Plays...
    Transition
    Trane's Modes
    Kulu Se Mama

    I'm not sure of what's exactly in print these days, or in what form. Back in the 90's, a handful of box sets came out that kind of covered the majority of the Impulse! recordings. There was the 1961 Village Vanguard sessions box, a four CD that gathered together music that was originally released on at least four different LP releases (though only two came out during Trane's life time).

    The complete classic quartet studio sessions set (I forget what the exact title is) is an 8 CD that the same for nearly all the recordings of the Trane/Tyner/Garrison/Jones quartet. There's a couple tracks with Art Davis added on bass (yes, that means two bassists) and a couple sessions that have Roy Haynes subbing for Elvin Jones (who took a leave of absence for "personal reasons").

    There's also the Major Works Of John Coltrane, which was a two CD set that combined both versions of Ascension, Om, and side one of Kulu Se Mama (plus an outtake from the Kulu Se Mama session), but I think most of those have since been issued on separate CD's (I gather they were also available in that form in Japan, but during the 90's, imports were hard to come by where I lived, and in any case, were expensive).

    And I believe Africa/Brass is presently only available (albeit with the tracks split up by session, thus disturbing the original track list) is in a double CD called The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions.

    If you buy all of the above sets, you'll have most of the music Trane released on Impulse! during his lifetime, as well as a great deal of the posthumous material. There's a handful of other records not represented on this set, such as Interstellar Space (a great album of duets with drummer Rashied Ali, which was apparently one of Trane's last studio sessions). There's also Stellar Regions and Expression (which I believe was the last album that Trane himself actually signed off on), but I've never heard either of those, so I can't comment on them.

    I believe the night before the Om session, Coltrane's group at the time was recorded onstage in Seattle, and that was released as Live In Seattle. The group is the classic quartet plus Pharoah Sanders and Donald Garrett.

    There's also Live In Japan, a four CD set taken from radio broadcasts from his only Japanese tour. Includes a 45 minute version of My Favorite Things. This was the quintet he had near the end of his life, with his second wife Alice replacing McCoy Tyner, Rasheid Ali replacing Elvin Jones, and second reedsman Pharoah Sanders. There's a single CD with the group called Live At The Village Vanguard Again.

    And there's the Live Trane set, which is a boxset of live recordings made in Europe circa 61-63. Disc one of this set includes the only recordings besides the 61 Village Vanguard sessions to include Eric Dolphy. The other discs also give some interesting variations on standard Trane material.

    Somehow I never did get into the pre-Impulse era records. I know I should at least have the Atlantic era albums, but I just never got around to it.
    Completely agreed, if there is a big advantage for Cd's in jazz it's well conceived boxsets that are session or live oriented to put the music in perspective . The Quartet studio box set is my favourite and allowed me to get a better understanding of Coltrane. One of the high points of recorded music IMO Second for me would be the Village Vanguard Box set. I have a nice Atlantic 2lp compilation which was my starting point for Coltrane. WB released a cheap 5 CD Box with the essential Atlantic records.

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  3. #28
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    TBH, You have/own the Coltrane period that I'm not that interested in... Never was a bop jazz fan... In the 80's, via Bitches Brew and Caravanserai, I got to discover modal jazz and Coltrane was the main brick in that wall.

    Trane's music for Impulse! (maybe my fave jazz label >> Mingus' Black Saint & Lady Sinner is also on Impulse!) certainly was the basis for The New Thing and "Spiritual Jazz" (the term has only existed for the last 15 years, just like "post bop" was also a revisionist tag), and it certainly lead to some of the most enthralling music in the blissed era of 63 to 79 and that still has repercussions on today's jazz (Kamasi Washington, Ibrahim Maalouf & Co)
    Agreed in the sense that the Prestige/BN/Atlantic period for Trane is good stuff, but the Impulse! material is where Coltrane makes his statement, much of which stays fresh some 55 years later. So the OP is in for a treat from my perspective.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    It's difficult to narrow Trane down to a few essentials as there is so much output within a relatively short recording history, but I would go this route in roughly chronological order:

    The "earlier period"
    Coltrane (Prestige label) - '57
    My Favorite Things (Atlantic) - '60
    Ole Coltrane (Atlantic) - '61

    The maturation period
    Africa/Brass (full version preferred)- '61
    Live at the Village Vanguard (box set preferred) - '61
    Impressions - '61

    The OMG period
    Crescent - '64
    A Love Supreme - '64

    The "Knows no Limits" period

    Sun Ship - '65
    Ascension - '65
    Just curious why Giant Steps did not make your list, isn't it sort of his Kind of Blue?

  5. #30
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    Just curious why Giant Steps did not make your list, isn't it sort of his Kind of Blue?
    Giant steps is my favorite of the ones I heared so far.

  6. #31
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Giant steps is my favorite of the ones I heared so far.
    Don't ignore the Prestige sides. Start with Black Pearls.
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

  7. #32
    Black Pearls (especially the title track) is probably *the* epitome of the "sheets of sound" style/approach.

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    Completely agreed, if there is a big advantage for Cd's in jazz it's well conceived boxsets that are session or live oriented to put the music in perspective . The Quartet studio box set is my favourite and allowed me to get a better understanding of Coltrane. One of the high points of recorded music IMO Second for me would be the Village Vanguard Box set. I have a nice Atlantic 2lp compilation which was my starting point for Coltrane. WB released a cheap 5 CD Box with the essential Atlantic records.

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    The only thing about boxsets is, there's so much music there, it's kind of difficult to "get to know" the music, if you're not already familiar with it. And also, because everything is broken up by session, and with tracks running in, apparently, the order they were recorded, you lose whatever continuity was there vis-a-vis the music that was originally chosen for release and the track lists that were chosen.

    One of the good things about the Coltrane classic quartet studio sessions box is that they put most of the alternate takes on a separate disc, so you don't have too much of the thing of listening to a bunch of takes of one single piece in a row. Unfortunately, in the case of Trane's Impulse! era recordings, there's not too many surviving alternate takes anyway (unless Ravi still has a stash of reference mix tapes that he hasn't told us about).

    But like I said, in this day and age, it's relatively easy to make up a play list of, say, just the original Africa/Brass album or just the original Impressions album, or the Afro-Blue/Impressions double live disc, or whatever, and listen to just to that, which I think makes the music a little easier to digest.

  9. #34
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    One of the good things about the Coltrane classic quartet studio sessions box is that they put most of the alternate takes on a separate disc, so you don't have too much of the thing of listening to a bunch of takes of one single piece in a row. Unfortunately, in the case of Trane's Impulse! era recordings, there's not too many surviving alternate takes anyway (unless Ravi still has a stash of reference mix tapes that he hasn't told us about).
    Well, Alice released a bunch of Impulse! stuff, often reorchestrated (First Meditations, Kule Se Mama, Sun Ship, Transition, etc....)

    Not saying she milked the golden egg chicken dry, but indeed, only live stuff not yet in Trane's estate can still find first releases by now.

    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    Just curious why Giant Steps did not make your list, isn't it sort of his Kind of Blue?
    not sure about GS being his KOB (I'd say ALS is), but I think Youth simply forgot about it when writing his list
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Well, Alice released a bunch of Impulse! stuff, often reorchestrated (First Meditations, Kule Se Mama, Sun Ship, Transition, etc....)

    Not saying she milked the golden egg chicken dry, but indeed, only live stuff not yet in Trane's estate can still find first releases by now.



    not sure about GS being his KOB (I'd say ALS is), but I think Youth simply forgot about it when writing his list
    Cutting it down to one 'Love Supreme' is Coltranes most famous record and might be comparable in terms of fame to 'Kind Of Blue'
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they don’t understand!"

  11. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Well, Alice released a bunch of Impulse! stuff, often reorchestrated (First Meditations, Kule Se Mama, Sun Ship, Transition, etc....)

    Not saying she milked the golden egg chicken dry, but indeed, only live stuff not yet in Trane's estate can still find first releases by now.
    I think what Guitar Geek had in mind is that although numerous albums worth of master takes came out after John died, many alternate takes were lost (reportedly discarded by ABC in the 70's). Recently some have been found, like the alternate Love Supreme with Archie Shepp, first heard in a couple of mono takes in the early 2000's and then in an upgraded stereo version more recently.

  12. #37
    My introduction to Coltrane occurred in 1968 as a 15-year-old. I lived in suburban Detroit and was heavily influenced by the MC5, John Sinclair and Trans-Love Enterprises. Sinclair had the 5 playing compositions by Sun Ra, and was touting John Coltrane. So I went to our local record store and bought the first Coltrane I saw- Ascension. Holy cow! I had no vocabulary for coming close to understanding what I was hearing, so I put the record away and did not come back to it for a few years. But I continued to look at Coltrane, and I found that the record I loved the most- then, and now- is Transition. I could understand its logic, I could understand its intensity and its musicianship. It led me into the energy jazz world of, at the time, Ra, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Marion Brown, the entire ESP Disc ethos of people such as Marzette Watts, Gunter Hampel, and then into the AACM, the Art Ensemble, Anthony Braxton and so on- artists I later met and loved and do so to today. But it begins with Transition.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Well, Alice released a bunch of Impulse! stuff, often reorchestrated (First Meditations, Kule Se Mama, Sun Ship, Transition, etc....)

    What do you mean by "reorchestrated"? I know there was one record that came out in the early 70's that strings on it, but I don't think any of the pieces you name were on it.

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    I think what Guitar Geek had in mind is that although numerous albums worth of master takes came out after John died, many alternate takes were lost (reportedly discarded by ABC in the 70's). Recently some have been found, like the alternate Love Supreme with Archie Shepp, first heard in a couple of mono takes in the early 2000's and then in an upgraded stereo version more recently.
    Some of the alternate takes on the Impulse studio sessions box came from mono reference tapes that Bob Thiele gave Trane to listen to at home, basically rough mixes of the pieces, I guess so he could spend some time listening to the tapes to decide what he wanted to have appear on the next album. Apparently, these were discovered at some point by Trane's son, Ravi Coltrane. Theoretically, there could be more tapes in Ravi's possession, but whether any of it's releasable, who knows. I suppose if it anything was considered releasable it would have been out by now, eh?


    And yes, a lot of tapes were taped over, which unfortunately was a relatively common practice for stuff at the time, for stuff that didn't get used right away. If something that was passed over for release, it was deemed "not worthy", and quite a lot of stuff got erased. If you check out the session log in the 8 CD set, there's quite a few sessions where no tapes have apparently survived (though who knows what form those sessions took, you could theoretically have an entire session of false starts, unfinished takes, etc).

  15. #40
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    What do you mean by "reorchestrated"? I know there was one record that came out in the early 70's that strings on it, but I don't think any of the pieces you name were on it.

    ooopsie, you're absolutely right...

    I had to leave in a minor emergency (nephew stung by two wasps), and hadn't finished my post at all, so I should've scrapped it instead of sending it... the list wasn't meant to follow my first comment about Alice

    Those I mention are all very worthy albums that would've merited a release with John was still alive.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  16. #41
    Member bigjohnwayne's Avatar
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    Put another vote in for Interstellar Space.

  17. #42
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    Just curious why Giant Steps did not make your list, isn't it sort of his Kind of Blue?
    Personal preference. It's a solid record as so many are. It wasn't meant as a slight.

    That said, I think consensus would make A Love Supreme Trane's KoB.
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  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnwayne View Post
    Put another vote in for Interstellar Space.
    And since we're talking about it, there's also Interstellar Space Revisited, the great duo album by drummer Gregg Bendian (some of you may be aware of his Interzone group and also his work the Mahavishnu Project, among other things) and guitarist Nels Cline (yes, the same Nels Cline who plays with Wilco, but who is also well known in phre jazz and avant rock circles). A great disc. Love Nels' guitar tone on that album.

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    ooopsie, you're absolutely right...

    I had to leave in a minor emergency (nephew stung by two wasps), and hadn't finished my post at all, so I should've scrapped it instead of sending it... the list wasn't meant to follow my first comment about Alice

    Those I mention are all very worthy albums that would've merited a release with John was still alive.
    Hope the nephew is ok.

    For the record, you mentioned Kulu Sé Mama as to imply that it was a posthumous release, but at least according to Wikipedia, that was the last album released during Coltrane's lifetime. The recordings were more than a year old at the time of initial release, though, similar to what happened with Impressions (the live tracks on Impressions were recorded during the November 1961 Village Vanguard performances, but weren't issued until something like 2 years later, with a pair of studio recordings that had been recorded more than a year later).

  20. #45
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Okay so far I ordered:
    -a love supreme
    -crescent
    -ascension

    Wanted to get Africa/brass and sunship as well but need to go to anorher vendor for those.

  21. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Okay so far I ordered:
    -a love supreme
    -crescent
    -ascension

    Wanted to get Africa/brass and sunship as well but need to go to anorher vendor for those.
    All great choices!

    ALS & Crescent were recorded within weeks of each other, & have a not dissimilar vibe. Crescent often gets overlooked, in the "rush" to get to ALS, but it's a wonderful record in its own right.

    Ascension, though recorded within 12 months of both discs, is from another musical planet! In some ways, it's a standalone outing - rather than pointing forwards to the new Quintet.

    The 12 — 13 month period from the Crescent sessions to the Meditations sessions is almost beyond comprehension. It's not just that he recorded so much, it's the astonishing development in his music that is occurring, almost, it seems, on a month by month basis.

    I love Sun Ship, which was recorded pretty much in the midst of this period - it's explosive! - but it also feels, palpably, like the Quartet pushing to the absolute limits the space of possibility for their music...to the point where they simply can't go any further.

    One album that I don't think has been mentioned is Meditations, more or less the culmination of this period. I think Coltrane was very conscious of how far he was pushing his music "outside". I think he tried to make connections for his listeners with earlier lp's. So, you have the Village Vanguard Again, in which the new band explore versions of earlier material (including a stunning Naima); & Meditations, which is deeply spiritual, &, I'd suggest, implicitly the new band's ALS.

    I think Meditations is superb - &, we are so lucky to have First Meditations, the first version, scored for, & played by, the Quartet.

    If you want to venture into the Quintet's music - which is very challenging - I'd go with these three recordings, as a way of building connections with the Quartet, & thereby giving you a way into this transcendent music...
    Last edited by per anporth; 09-11-2017 at 03:19 AM.

  22. #47
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    That said, I think consensus would make A Love Supreme Trane's KoB.
    Especially that KoB is at least in parts modal itself

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Hope the nephew is ok.

    For the record, you mentioned Kulu Sé Mama as to imply that it was a posthumous release, but at least according to Wikipedia, that was the last album released during Coltrane's lifetime. The recordings were more than a year old at the time of initial release, though, similar to what happened with Impressions (the live tracks on Impressions were recorded during the November 1961 Village Vanguard performances, but weren't issued until something like 2 years later, with a pair of studio recordings that had been recorded more than a year later).
    have to be careful with the nephew, he's been stung a few times before (he seems to attract them and has been reacting to stings), so by safety I drove him to the hospital for observation. He's allright, but he's not going to to grow as an explorer or Indiana Jones.

    Mmmhh!!!... OK, Kulé might've been released in Trane's lifetime, but it was relatively old stuff for him... He'd moved onto something else for quite a while.

    But jazz labels always did strange things, mixing different sessions and styles, as they didn't really have yet the notion of the "album" as the rock crowds would grow used to... Even Blue Note mixed bop jazz with modal tracks in its track lists in their best albums.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    Okay so far I ordered:
    -a love supreme
    -crescent
    -ascension

    Wanted to get Africa/brass and sunship as well but need to go to anorher vendor for those.
    best wait until you get to know and appreciate this modal era of his to buy further (BTW, Ascension is the start of his next era, where he goes free-jazz)

    BTW, the only Trane albums on Impulse! that are not essentials are Ballads and the thing with Johnny Hartman.
    Last edited by Trane; 09-11-2017 at 08:33 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  23. #48
    Meditations still gives me goose bumps. Sanders was never fiercer than on it.

    But please order Transition as well- really.

    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  24. #49
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    Many great suggestions and insightful comments…can’t add much, except that IMO almost anything Coltrane recorded with McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones is sublime. I’m particularly fond of the two big band/large ensemble recordings, Olé Coltrane and Africa/Brass. Both records are part of what might be considered Coltrane’s brief flirtation with pop, which yielded incredibly accessible and uplifting music. Africa/Brass, in particular, captures such an expansive atmosphere and it’s unlike any other album he has made; it’s evocative of late summer nights, looking down at NYC from a rooftop, G&T in hand…or something like that.

    PS: If I may suggest something: Should you get the 2-CD set The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions, try to listen to it as presented in this single disc edition first:

    https://www.discogs.com/de/John-Colt...elease/1050082

    (That’s how I first encountered A/B, and I still think it’s the perfect way to listen to it.)
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by per anporth View Post
    [...] we are so lucky to have First Meditations, the first version, scored for, & played by, the Quartet.
    +1

    First Meditations is great.
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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