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John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays The Blues Stereo VINYL LP ORG195
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John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays The Blues Stereo VINYL LP ORG195

£75.99    
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John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays The Blues Stereo VINYL LP ORG195

All the pieces on this set are by Coltrane, and the album is unusual in that the feeling of sameness that could have so easily resulted from the same four men playing six blues has been neatly avoided. Quite subjectively, I find the album contains considerably more variety than many sets of standards and originals recorded by five and six-piece groups.

Blues To Elvin opens with a near-gospel piano figure, followed by Coltrane on tenor in one of his most basic blues solos of recent years, similar to the startling work he was doing in the late fifties, with only the occasional use of harmonics to mark it as a more recent performance. This track alone is a more meaningful credential than most blues players can produce.

Blues To Bechet played on soprano saxophone and accompanied only by bass and drums, is, for this listener, the favorite of the set. In his short, simple phrases, Coltrane hauntingly evokes Bechet, gradually leading into a passage which is an accurate definition of the advances he has introduced on the instrument, and then returning briefly to the traditional style shortly before the close.

The furiously paced Blues To You, played on tenor without piano, is strictly contemporary Coltrane. It reflects a performance practice he is fond of in clubs, stretching the basic blues harmonies to the limits of atonality, and then culminating the excitement in exchanges with Elvin Jones.

Mr. Day is the best example on the set of the hypnotic use to which Coltrane puts bass and piano behind his own instant frenzy. The piece itself is in the Eastern-minor vein of such other of his compositions as Dahomey Dance.

Mr. Syms, which again features soprano saxophone, is cast in a form Coltrane has made striking’ use of in the past: the minor blues with a bridge. In this instance, the bridge is quite similar to Summertime, a favorite Coltrane piece. He limits himself here to opening and closing melodic statements which frame a McCoy Tyner solo.

The final track, Mr. Knight, is in its piano figure and rhythmic basis, a synthesis of West Indian and African music, To this, building on a theme employing a bare minimum of notes, Coltrane adds his own Indian-influenced approach, making a unique cultural-musical blend.

Tracklist

A1 Blues To Elvin 
B1 Blues To Bechet 
B2 Blues To You 
C1 Mr. Day 7
D1 Mr. Syms 
D2 Mr. Knight

 

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