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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

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Half a century after his passing, the music of John Coltrane continues to be studied, analyzed and enjoyed for its historical and musical exceptionality. Every few years it seems that another undiscovered collection surfaces and is met with enviable enthusiasm, much of it centered around speculating where Coltrane's music was going at a point in time, and the unanswerable question of where it may have ended up. Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album captures the saxophonist on the brink ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Coltrane: Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

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The day before John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison convened at the Van Gelder studios in Englewood Cliffs, John, Paul, George and Ringo recorded “From Me To You" at Abbey Road in seven takes. That night the Coltrane quartet tore apart Birdland and the next day recorded an album with John Hartman. Music was changing everywhere and, thus, the world. Bob Thiele's voice is the first we hear, cutting through the political panic of fifty ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Universe and John Coltrane: The Physics of Cosmic Vibrations

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The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe Stephon Alexander 272 Pages ISBN: # 13: 978-0465093571; # 10: 0465093574 Basic Books 2016 On the face of it, the premise that jazz and physics are related disciplines seems strange and remote. Because of its spontaneous nature, rhythmic pulse, and emphasis on emotion, jazz is a personal, subjective artistic means of expression which is accessible to almost ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz and Philosophy

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Philosophy warms to jazz, but not as much, perhaps, to rock or blues. We can talk through the night about rock and blues, and it may be fun. But just how philosophical can we get about rock and blues--even with the help of a few smart friends and a few adult beverages? Rock is the rambunctious and electrified child that came out of the blues, and the blues are a way to make pain bearable and even enjoyable, once the ...

Dr. Cornel West: A Real-Life Superhero

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This column focuses on the lives of people searching for and finding a human connection inspired by the life and music of the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane. Trane was a spiritual, gifted jazz musician dedicated to loving people through his heart which exquisitely came out of his instrument. I have come to discover that there are presently many people who are influenced by him even decades after his passing. This column will make an attempt at answering the question: “How ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

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John ColtraneChasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary Meteor 17 and Crew Neck Productions2017 Because it is poised to contribute to the image of John Coltrane in popular culture for years to come, a thoughtful appraisal of this film is very important. Promoted at major film festivals and released to theaters worldwide, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, directed by John Scheifeld (noted for The U.S. vs. Lennon (Liongate, 2006)--and other films about iconic cultural figures ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History

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This article was first published at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia website.Jazz began to emerge as a distinct musical style around the turn of the twentieth century, a merging of two vernacular African American musical styles--ragtime and blues--with elements of popular music. New Orleans, the “cradle of jazz," was the most important city in this process, with jny: Chicago and New York playing particularly significant roles in the 1920s and 1930s. By the mid-twentieth century Philadelphia had become ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music

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The Cultural Politics of Jazz Collectives: This Is Our Music Edited by Nicholas Gebhardt and Tony Whyton 250 Pages ISBN: 978-1-138-780602-0 Routledge 2016 The recording of jazz history has overwhelmingly focused on individuals. Yet while biographies that lionize great jazz men--women are sorely underrepresented--abound, the socio-political environment in which all musicians make and play jazz--the networks and collaborations that help nourish the music--is often ignored, or considered only in passing. In The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Coltrane: Trane 90

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Along with Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, the late saxophonist John Coltrane is one of the most anthologized figures in the history of jazz. He is also one of the most studied, with at least four full biographies on Amazon, and dozens of other books looking at various aspects of his music. The number of magazine articles about Coltrane surely runs into the tens of thousands. And so the first question regarding a new, four-disc box ...

HI-RES JAZZ

John Coltrane: Coltrane And Crescent—Shadows And Light

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Visual art is a play of shadow and light, and contrast makes the forms visible. In the best jazz music, there is a kind of inner light that emanates from the musicians, the light of creative impulse, the light of spontaneous artistic expression. Some jazz musicians--too many--cast their own shadows of addiction and self-destructiveness. But often--too often--new directions and developments in jazz are shadowed not by the musicians themselves, but by their detractors. A series of Impulse albums ...