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John Coltrane

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21.06.2004

Advantages:
One of the most talented jazz saxophonists ever !

Disadvantages:
Towards the end of his life, his work got more "way out"

Recommendable Yes:

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John Coltrane is definitely one of the greatest tenor and soprano saxophonists ever, having also written many jazz standards, such as Blue Trane and Impressions.

At first, Coltrane started out as a clarinettist, and horn player, but at school he was influenced by hearing players including Lester Young and Johnny Hodges, causing him to switch to alto sax before switching to tenor sax after doing military service during world war two and playing in the U.S. Navy Band. Throughout his life, Coltrane was an alcoholic, and a heroin addict (finally dieing from liver cancer in 1967), but he managed to overcome this, and it was during overcoming his heroin addiction that he wrote perhaps his most important and prolific work - A Love Supreme - a four part work in which Coltrane tried to express his love for and worship of God, with Coltrane playing not from music, but from a prayer in the last movement - psalm.

Throughout his life, Coltrane was trying to push the boundaries of jazz, creating new and exciting music. Throughout his life,however there were also a few standards which he kept returning to, such as My Favourite Things, which he used to love to play, and would sometimes simply play this one tune for an entire concert!

I personally prefer some of Coltrane's earlier works - my favourite C.D. of his being Blue Trane (1957), because I find them easy to listen to, and featuring incredible solo's from Coltrane (i also like the trumpeter on this album - Lee Morgan ), with some of his later works, although being teachnichally phenomenal, being a little to pioneering for my taste (such as some of the tracks on "meditations" - 1965).

Coltrane, throughout his life, was lucky to get the chance to play with some of the greatest ever jazz musicians, including Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Thelonius Monk, Eric Dolphy and many others.

Coltrane is definitely one of the best saxophonists ever, and definitely worth a listen.
Some Good C.D.'s you should check out are:
Blue Trane, Giant Steps, Thelonius Monk with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, ... and many others!
Pictures of John Coltrane
John Coltrane Picture 34507 tb
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Comments about this review »

MAFARRIMOND 22.06.2004 11:04

A great overview to a great jazz artist. Maureen

jillmurphy 21.06.2004 20:33

A great man indeed, and your instrument, as I recall. My favourite jazz artist is Thelonius Monk, namechecked by you here.

patriciat 21.06.2004 20:09

Not really my sort of music, which is unfortunate because when bro in law visits he plays John Coltrane non-stop. Pat.t

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John Coltrane: Legacy - John Coltrane

John Coltrane: Legacy - John Coltrane

There have been numerous John Coltrane introductions, surveys, and best-ofs through the ... more

years, but never one quite like Legacy. It draws
on Coltrane's recordings for several
labels--including Prestige, Blue Note and
Atlantic, as well as Impulse!--and as a result
it's able to present both his early and his late
work. Further, it's a four-CD set, its length
affording the scale that Coltrane's work demands.
There are some brilliant sideman performances with
Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk (the stand-out
"Trinkle, Tinkle"), as well as essential tracks
from early recordings such as "Lazy Bird." 
Selected and sequenced by Coltrane's son,
saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the set takes a gently
theoretical approach to Coltrane's music, with
each CD a chronological journey through a
different aspect of his music. Disc one emphasises
Coltrane's approaches to harmony and melody; disc
two features his innovative approach to rhythm.
Disc three concentrates on the creative
relationship between Coltrane and drummer Elvin
Jones, while disc four is a collection of
bristling live performances. Along the way one
hears many of Coltrane's greatest performances:
the accelerated chordal improvisation of "Giant
Steps", the wailing soprano saxophone of "My
Favorite Things", the blistering tenor of
"Impressions", the virtuoso cadenza of "I Want to
Talk About You," and the lyrical majesty of "Wise
One."  There's room here for contrasting versions
of "Impressions," "Naima," and "Nature Boy" that
demonstrate Coltrane's gifts for transforming his
most familiar material. There's also an unissued
live version of "One Up, One Down" and some
examples of the demanding music of Coltrane's
final years. It's a brilliant selection, revealing
both the depth and breadth of an
always-impassioned musical genius. --Stuart
Broomer

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This review of John Coltrane has been rated:

"very helpful" by (50%):

  1. nubbler
  2. Jonoj
  3. nathan_h

and 5 other members

"helpful" by (50%):

  1. Soho_Black
  2. Birky
  3. dcojago

and 5 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.