Everyone is familiar with Coltrane's classic recording of "My Favorite Things. However, what many people may not know is that Coltrane was so taken with the musical that his first project for the Impulse! label was an entire album of songs from the stage classic. Bob Thiele shelved the project after it was finished, claiming it didn't fit in with the image the label was trying to project. "We weren't looking for another Brubeck, he said at the time. Now, however, these classic lost recordings have been released, adding another chapter to Coltrane's legacy.
The quartet runs through all the musical's classics from beginning to end. It should come as no surprise that "Do Re Mi, with it's movement through all the notes of the scale, is perfectly suited to the explorations that Coltrane was attempting at the time. "Edelweiss is treated as a solemn ballad with dark chords behind, and the surprising addition of Elvin Jones on glockenspiel, an instrument he mastered just for this session. "Goodbye Farewell had an interesting origin on the stage. Coltrane and company would reenact the scene from the movie, with Coltrane kicking both Tyner and Garrison in the seat of the pants to send them off the stage. They then launch into a furious drum and tenor saxophone exchange on "Climb Ev'ry Mountain.
However, the real draw is sure to be the new version of "My Favorite Things, which features Wes Montgomery on guitar. Long rumored to have joined Coltrane for a time, this is the only known recording of Montgomery with the group. He sends his trademark octave licks chasing after Coltrane's fast riffing. It's truly a meeting of giants.
The John Coltrane Quartet Plays the Sound of Music is a terrific recording that will appeal to fans of Coltrane and Julie Andrews alike. It is rumored that after recording "Chim Chim Cheree Coltrane wanted to do the same to Mary Poppins, and, perhaps, do a record with the quartet backing Andrews herself. Unfortunately, those projects never came to fruition, but you can still enjoy the sheets of the sound of music.
Track Listing: Prelude And The Sound Of Music; Maria; I Have Confidence; Sixteen Going On Seventeen; My Favorite Things; Do-Re-Mi; The Sound Of Music; The Lonely Goatherd; So Long, Farewell; Climb Ev'ry Mountain; Something Good; Edelweiss.
Personnel: John Coltrane: tenor and soprano saxophone; McCoy Tyner: piano; Jimmy Garrison: bass; Elvin Jones: drums, glockenspiel; Wes Montgomery: guitar.