4

The Business of 'Trane

Gordon Marshall By

Sign in to view read count
Carlos Santana turned me on to him

in an article in Guitar Player magazine

I read at the Hingham library,

at 14: spiritual center

of his Baja brain,

and mine now,

for 35 years,

in Boston, in the rain

after a storm...

the storm—it lasted years,

years when I couldn't listen to the fellow,

so powerful his song,

so powerful the memories of loss

and pain, in those early years

I first discovered him

in the basement of the Hingham library:

they had a holding of maybe 20

of his records,

spanning his career;

I chose Sun Ship,

posthumous release

with a colorful photo of him

proudly playing his soprano saxophone

point blank

the year is what struck me: '67

the year that rock had blown,

summer of love and all that;

I figured maybe 'Trane

had absorbed a bit

of the psychedelic sounds

bouncing around, from San Francisco

to Abbey Road:

I listened—or tried to

"gobbledy gook—gobbledy gook..."

is all I heard, up and down

his saxophone—too much

I figured this was a late-career mistake

like so many artists make,

and tried again, with Coltrane

Plays the Blues, Atlantic,

'59, eight years earlier

this was more to my taste

the longing and the dark modal

sweetness, the heavy blues

beat, smooth as a walk

down the street,

or a night in my shady bedroom

with a woman I might meet...

it kept itself in my memory

like a lamp lit up all night,

while I slept;

and when I awoke from my Coltrane slumber

30 years later,

it is still my favorite Coltrane disc,

topping my desert island picks

on my personal profile

online, where I write my columns

and interviews and concert reviews,

for three years now,

back in the business of 'Trane.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Fire in Coltrane’s Lungs Jazz Poetry The Fire in Coltrane’s Lungs
by Larry Jaffe
Published: August 2, 2014
Read Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry Jazz Poetry Kissing Cousins: Jazz + poetry = jazz poetry
by Jeff Winke
Published: May 1, 2014
Read The Answer is Jim Jazz Poetry The Answer is Jim
by William DeLancey Adamson
Published: December 11, 2013
Read Birds with Long Red Tails Jazz Poetry Birds with Long Red Tails
by Adriana Carcu
Published: October 28, 2012
Read Poetry in Motian Jazz Poetry Poetry in Motian
by William DeLancey Adamson
Published: November 23, 2011
Read Black Sage (for Henry Grimes) Jazz Poetry Black Sage (for Henry Grimes)
by Gordon Marshall
Published: July 17, 2011
Read "Cloudland Re-Revisited: Think of One" Genius Guide to Jazz Cloudland Re-Revisited: Think of One
by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "Tallinn Music Week 2017" Live Reviews Tallinn Music Week 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967" My Blue Note Obsession The Best of Lou Donaldson, Volume 1 – 1957-1967
by Marc Davis
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Django A Gogo 2017 Music Festival" New York @ Night Django A Gogo 2017 Music Festival
by Peter Jurew
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 3 & 4" Bailey's Bundles Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions”...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Suoni Per Il Popolo 2016" Live Reviews Suoni Per Il Popolo 2016
by Mike Chamberlain
Published: July 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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