The Garden of Intellectual Fungus
Song - Artist -
Fado Portugues - Amalia Rodrigues -
A little late this week, but all in due time.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ (December 1964)
John Coltrane- tenor sax, vocals
Jimmy Garrison- double bass
Elvin Jones- drums
McCoy Tiner- piano
Easily one of the most well-known jazz records of all time. Easily. And for good reason too. There were a lot of nuances that contributed to vaster concept of the album as well as to the individual concepts of the tracks. For example, the unusualV "Love Supreme" mantra spoken at the end of the "Acknowledgement" indeed acknowledges the idea of the album and in its acknowledgement acknowledges itself (not to use the same word four times in the same sentence..)
The drum solo at the beginning of "Pursuance" in many ways sounds like a chase (which is a form of pursuance), and on another drum-related note, the darker and deeper percussive sounds of "Psalm" definitely helped enforce the mood. I suppose I forgot to mention the tam-tam hit at the beginning of the entire album, which was also unusual yet very effective.
Despite this album being considered a spiritual exploration, Coltrane consistently sounds very confident throughout the album. There is no point in which he sounds unsure or lost in his own musicality. Perhaps in his search he is already aware of what he is going to find, and in this he finds solace. If you haven't listened to this album yet, you had best go pick it up. Right now.
Recorded at WOR Studios in New York, NY (June 1953)
J. J. Johnson- trombone
Clifford Brown- trumpet
Jimmy Heath- tenor/baritone sax
John Lewis- piano
Percy Heath- bass
Kenny Clarke- drums
J.J. Johnson has such a clarity of tone that it at times feels like he's playing a trumpet or another valved brass instrument. That muddiness often associated with trombone is absolutely absent on this album, and it refreshing to hear a clear solo trombone timbre.
While the Coltrane album earlier in this blog is really entirely solo-centric, the formal structure of many of these pieces focused on solos that filled between soli melodies and heads. This however might be due to the fact that this is a sextet rather than a quartet.
Also, the tracks on this album, as opposed to the longer exploratory tracks of Coltrane, are a radio-friendly length, making it very accessible to Jazz DJ's, and is definitely recommended.