Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.
Critics have proclaimed John Coltrane as one of the most influential jazz musicians, one of the greatest innovators AND saxophonists of all time. Noted jazz critic Ira Gitler once described Coltrane's music as "sheets of sound." All very true statements from (mostly) well-respected individuals.
My personal favorite era of the John Coltrane Sound features arguably the greatest quartet of all time, pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison, the quartet formed in late 1961. Coltrane is so important to the development of jazz that I would venture to say that any music recorded by Coltrane is available in stores or on the Internet. Coltrane Live at Birdland showcases "The Great Quartet" in excellent form: Elvin banging and cursin', McCoy a steady force maintaining the form, Jimmy Garrison pacing the beat and Coltrane stretching out into space filling the void. No other quartet has so dominated the jazz scene since.
The first three compositions on this re-issue are "Live at Birdland" and the final three were studio recordings. "Afro Blue" is the shining star of this set. I wish it did not have to end as quickly. I can still feel the pulse long after the song has ended. "Your Lady" features Elvin and Coltrane providing extemporaneous embellishment on the theme to perfection. The bonus track is titled "Vilia," originally recorded at a March 6, 1963 session. The liner notes indicate that when this album first came out, "Alabama" inadvertently included take 4. For this re-issue they have included the full performance of take 4 and take 5. This is certainly a welcome addition to the ever growing list of important jazz re-issues. A definite collectors' item.
John Coltrane, TS - McCoy Tyner, P - Jimmy Garrison, B - Elvin Jones, D
Afro Blue - 10:50 I Want To Talk About You - 8:11 The Promise - 8:06 Alabama - 5:08 Your Lady - 6:39 Vilia - 4:36
I love jazz because it’s what sounds
I was first exposed to jazz in my
parents household and in school
I appreciate many styles of jazz
and shy away from really outside
stuff. I enjoy relating to the
One of the best shows I ever
attended was 1975 Chick Corea’s
Return To Forever tour at an
intimate venue in downtown
The first jazz record I bought was
Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon.
My advice to new listeners is try
several styles before you decide
what jazz is all about!
Listen to music daily and stay open