Friday, July 23, 2010

John Coltrane: Coltrane's Sound

John Coltrane (sax)
Coltrane's Sound (Warner Brothers; 1964)

Steve Davis (bass)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Elvin Jones (drums)

In the winter of 1960, John Coltrane record a quick succession of material that would eventually span over three albums (My Favourite Things, Coltrane Plays The Blues and one of my personal favourites Coltrane's Sound). Coltrane's Sound (released in 1964) I feel is a highly overshadowed album compared to his other Warner Brothers albums (e.g Giant Steps, Avant Garde and My Favourite Things) but it is a fantastic and deeply moving album that really stands apart in Warner Brothers years.

Coltrane's Sound is a fully matured and confident John Coltrane in complete command of his new quartet. Coltrane's playing very bold and vibrant. Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Steve Davis all demonstrate a solidarity that is effortless throughout this particular session. Coltrane's writing is in superior form at this time. Only two of the original six tracks are covers (The Night Has A Thousand Eyes and Body & Soul).

John Coltrane really sets forth with the blistering opener, "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" and carries that through to the now Coltrane standard "Central Park West". which has some lovely interplay between Tyner and 'Trane. "Liberia" and "Body and Soul" but jump and flow with the steady timing of the always emphatic Jones challenge Trane on the pace. The dark, densely paced blues of "Equinox" is intense and almost spiritual. "Equinox" too would become a standard Coltrane piece for generations to come.

Coltrane's Sound is a masterpiece from start to finish and includes a richly textured path of ideas and themes that would eventually get fleshed out further on his Impulse releases. This one of those Coltrane albums you really need to add into your collection. It's beautiful, inventive and reflective. Coltrane's Sound is the perfect album for anyone new to Coltrane and those who are Coltrane fans who don't own it--what's wrong with you!

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