One of THE great jazz quartets of all time: Coltrane (tenor & soprano), McCoy Tyner (piano), the earth-shaking Elvin Jones (drums) and Steve Davis (bass, though 'Trane's band would most often feature Jimmy Garrison and sometimes Reggie Workman), playing a blues-inspired program of originals. This band had an empathy shared by only the best bands in jazz: the Brubeck and Miles Davis groups, the Modern Jazz Quartet–and it shows here, with warmth, confidence, economy and relaxed interplay.
Considered by many to be his finest single album, Coltrane finds John Coltrane displaying all of the exciting elements that sparked brilliance and allowed his fully formed instrumental voice to shine through in the most illuminating manner. On tenor saxophone, he's simply masterful, offering the burgeoning sheets of sound philosophy into endless weavings of melodic and tuneful displays of inventive, thoughtful, driven phrases. Coltrane also plays a bit of soprano saxophone as a primer for his more exploratory work to follow. Meanwhile, bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and especially the stellar McCoy Tyner have integrated their passionate dynamics into the inner whole of the quartet.
The seven-CD set Live Trane expands upon Pablo's earlier CDs of John Coltrane recorded during his European tours between 1961 and 1963, including all of The Paris Concert, Bye Bye Blackbird, The European Tour, and Afro Blue Impressions, and supplementing them with extra songs from most of these concerts. Of the 37 tracks, 19 have not previously appeared commercially (except on a number of European bootleg labels with sound ranging from barely acceptable to horrendous), and a 1961 Hamburg concert with Eric Dolphy makes its debut here. A number of titles are repeated throughout the set – six takes of "My Favorite Things" and five versions of both "Impressions" and "Mr. P.C.," along with four takes of "Naima" – but true Coltrane fans will marvel at the differences between them from one concert to the next.
Most John Patton albums are hard-driving, edgy soul-jazz and funk, and the title of Accent on the Blues makes the record seem like it would be no different than his other sessions. Of course, that isn't the case. Accent on the Blues is among the most atmospheric music Patton has ever made. While it stops short of being free, it's hardly funky soul-jazz, and that may disappoint some fans of his rip-roaring style. Nevertheless, the album is a rewarding listen, primarliy because it displays a more reflective side of his talent, demonstrating that he can hold his own among the likes of guitarist James Blood Ulmer and saxophonist Marvin Cabell.
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!