175

1961 at The Village Vanguard

By

Sign in to view read count
John Coltrane (Impulse!)

Approaching Seventh Avenue and Perry Street in Manhattan, one is struck by the number of folks lining up and generally milling around waiting in anticipation to descend into what looks like, from the outside, a very small basement, a very small room. This is perhaps the most prestigious and historical jazz room in the country, the Village Vanguard, the club where the spirit of giants and giant music looms large. During the week of September 23, this esteemed club is host of the celebration of the music and legacy of John Coltrane put together by Impulse Records and the Vanguard. Having a major role in a tribute to Coltrane, who died in 1967 is quite appropriate for Lorraine Gordon's club as its stature has only been aided by some recordings that were made there that have become a cornerstone of the jazz cannon.
Of those recordings, one that stands out is Coltrane's fiery: Live at the Village Vanguard from 1961. As a part of their role in this week's events, Impulse has re-issued and released a new, four-disc boxed set called simply: Coltrane: The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings. Apart from the almost indescribable music found within, the Impulse folks have done a very nice job in putting together a handsome package which contains a 46 page booklet, complete with solid liner notes and a poster commemorating this release. To say that this is a must-buy would be an understatement. The power of the playing, not to mention the influence that this group has had on future generations of jazz and non-jazz musicians can not be overstated. Imagine a record that has tunes repeated two or three times (Impressions, Naima, India, Spiritual) with each version a gem. Not a repeated idea other than those phrases that still echo within the halls of jazz history. The interplay of Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Reggie Workman, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner is a text book for post-bop and improvisational music in general. Add to that, the venue. The feeling that one gets from just entering the Vanguard: "The high church of jazz" as altoist Antonio Hart has recently said to the New York Times's Peter Watrous can be a mixture of reverence and excitement. Due respect and anticipation.
Hart and Tyner have a few things in common. They are both Impulse artists and, along with other Impulse artists such as Danillo Perez (joined by Michael Brecker), Eric Reed, Donald Harrison, and Diana Krall, will play a night at the Vanguard during this week's run. It should be a fascinating and fun week of performances starting with McCoy alongside Al Foster and George Mraz on 'Trane's birthday, September 23.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center Live Reviews Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's Live Reviews Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Monterey Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Monterey Jazz Festival 2017
by Josef Woodard
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Match&Fuse Dublin 2017 Live Reviews Match&Fuse Dublin 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard Live Reviews Antonio Sanchez Group at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2017
Read WOMAD 2017 Live Reviews WOMAD 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Hilary Gardner and Ehud Asherie at Caffè Vivaldi" Live Reviews Hilary Gardner and Ehud Asherie at Caffè Vivaldi
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center" Live Reviews Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center
by David Becker
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Match&Fuse Dublin 2017" Live Reviews Match&Fuse Dublin 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights" Live Reviews Lewis Nash and Steve Wilson at JazzNights
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "ELBJAZZ 2017" Live Reviews ELBJAZZ 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.