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John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album

“…STARTING A SENTENCE IN THE MIDDLE, AND THEN GOING TO THE BEGINNING AND THE END OF IT AT THE SAME TIME…

                                                       BOTH DIRECTIONS AT ONCE.”

OMG. You need this. Now. This is the single greatest thing I’ve heard in ages. Two whole discs of unheard mid-60s Classic Quartet (John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner)?? YES PLEASE!

Here is the info on it, as I am too busy listening to it to re-type any of that.

For unreleased tracks, some of them with the engineer intro still tagged onto them, the sound here is superb. The band is on fire, swinging away with so much beauty and class that this is already one of my Best Of 2018 albums! If you’ll pardon my French, this thing is fucking phenomenal.

I got the 2CD deluxe edition. There’s a 1 disc edition too, though why anyone would buy that I have no clue.

Open up the gatefold packaging and there’s a pull-quote where Sonny Rollins, still with us at a young 87 years of age, says it best:

“THIS IS LIKE FINDING A NEW ROOM IN THE GREAT PYRAMID.”

Amen, brother.

John Coltrane – Ken Burns Jazz: John Coltrane

 

 

 

 

 

From the popular Ken Burns series, this one’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel. Check it out:

‘Round Midnight (with Miles Davis)
Mr. P.C.
Naima
My Favorite Things
Chasin’ The Trane
In A Sentimental Mood (with Duke Ellington)
Afro Blue
Alabama
Acknowledgement
Jupiter

One can always add other tracks, but this collection (covering his Columbia, Atlantic, and Impulse! years) gives a solid overview of his styles.

We played this after the kids went to bed. Bliss.

John Coltrane – The Paris Concert

John Coltrane (tenor saxophone)
McCoy Turner (piano)
Elvin Jones (drums)
Jimmy Garrison (double bass)

From Wiki: Despite the name some sources claim it was recorded at a concert in Berlin on 2 November 1963. Other music from this concert can be heard on Afro Blue Impressions. Others claim it was indeed recorded in Paris, on 17 November 1962.

I’m not going to argue with jazz scholars about which it was, because frankly I don’t really care. All I know is that this disc is amazing. There’s a joy, an energy to the whole thing. Bliss!

A recording of a radio broadcast, my copy says it is a remastered version from 1993, and even at that there are several patches where the sound drops out a bit or is imperfect. I actually prefer moments like that, they ground the ear and act as bells of mindfulness while Coltrane and this brilliant band are pulling you up to orbit. We’re just fortunate that this 3-song document exists at all. What beauty!

Opening things is Mr. P.C. which, at 26: 30, is more work out than live track. Written for bassist Paul Chambers, it’s a veritable jazz feast. It’s also like a boulder rolling downhill, relentless and unstoppable. But herein lies incredible beauty, too. The instrumental runs, the breakdowns, the explorations and trick shots galore all make this track an album unto itself. The bass section is just unreal, when he’s bowing the bass the string rubbings sound like voices (I had the good headphones on). And you can hear the clunk when he drops the bow and switches to his fingers… and then the band comes back in… triumphant! Jones gets his drum solo and it’s a master class in control. Turner’s piano holds it all together as only a seasoned pro can manage it, perhaps the true star of this track. And Trane himself, well, he’s twisting and turning and taking no prisoners. An unbelievable performance.

The Inch Worm (written by Frank Loesser for the Danny Kaye Film Hans Christian Andersen), shimmers and shines, and takes us on an expedition into soloing brilliance. The notes and trills are flying, the drums are pounding and swinging, and the whole affair seems built to push forward, restlessly seeking new ground.

Everytime We Say Goodbye pulls things in a bit, going gentler into what I think of as love jazz, that beautiful ebb and flow for the end of the night, when the mood is already set and no one in the crowd is going anywhere because the band has the crowd in the palm of their hand. This one soars.

In Sum:

Wow!

The last line of Ed Michel’s liner notes says “There’s no way to hear Coltrane’s music the same way a second time.” And that’s true, there’s always something new to discover.  But Michel’s statement is also untrue, taken another way, and that’s hearing it with love. It’s entirely possible to hear Coltrane’s work with love on the second time, and the hundredth.

Get this. And play it often.

rhymeallnight.com/

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