John Coltrane returns to the Village Vanguard – but his sound here is a lot more far-reaching than a few years before! The album's a great counterpart to the first Vanguard session – as it takes all of the bold, soaring energy of that date, and balances it with the newly introspective sound of the later Coltrane years – plus some of the freedoms learned from the Love Supreme era. The group here showcases the new territory explored by Coltrane – with Trane himself on tenor, soprano, and a bit of bass clarinet (echoing earlier Dolphy), plus Pharoah Sanders on additional tenor, Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Rasheid Ali on drums. The album only features 2 long tracks – an incredibly soulful version of "Naima", and a very firey version of "My Favorite Things", but one that begins with a haunting bass solo by Garrison!
The album newly remastered from the original master tapes. This set documents the four-night stand by John Coltrane (sax) and his quintet at the Village Vanguard in New York City, November 1 – 5, 1961. Although these are not newly discovered tapes – as the majority of the selections have turned up on no less than five separate releases – their restoration is significant in assessing motifs in Coltrane's [read: multi-show] live appearances. Coltrane is accompanied by an all-star ensemble of Eric Dolphy (alto sax/bass clarinet), Garvin Bushell (oboe/contrabassoon), Ahmed Abdul-Malik (oud), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Reggie Workman (bass), Elvin Jones (drums), and Roy Haynes (drums). Their presence is as equally vital as Coltrane's – inspiring as well as informing the dimensions of improvisation.
This double CD features John Coltrane at a concert in Sept. 1965 with his expanded sextet (which included pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, Pharoah Sanders on tenor and Donald Garrett doubling on bass clarinet and bass). Coltrane experts know that 1965 was the year that his music became quite atonal and, with the addition of Sanders, often very violent. This music, therefore, is not for fans of Coltrane's earlier sheets of sound period or for those who prefer jazz as melodic background music.
Jazz Icons: John Coltrane provides an epic 95-minute overview of a true giant of 20th-century music. Three separate shows reveal Coltrane's ascending creative arc from hard bop innovator as a member of the Miles Davis Quartet in 1960 to consummate bandleader in 1961 to unrivalled jazz visionary in 1965. This DVD not only features Trane's classic quartet with Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and McCoy Tyner (piano), but also spotlights him onstage with other jazz legends including Stan Getz, Eric Dolphy and Oscar Peterson. Includes mind-blowing versions of his signature tunes "My Favorite Things" and "Impressions".
Arguably John Coltrane's finest all-around album, this recording has brilliant versions of "Afro Blue" and "I Want to Talk About You"; the second half of the latter features Coltrane on unaccompanied tenor tearing into the piece but never losing sight of the fact that it is a beautiful ballad. The remainder of this album ("Alabama," "The Promise," and "Your Lady") is almost at the same high level.