Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coltrane 57.2

This continues an occasional theme: working my way through John Coltrane's sessions as leader.  I posted earlier on his May 31st session, which formed the basis of Coltrane.  On August 16th, after recording with Thelonious Monk, Trane went back into Rudy Van Gelder's studio as leader and recorded four numbers.  Three of them would form the core of the album Lush Life
Trane's Slow Blue
Like Someone In Love
I Love You
Slowtrane was a second take of the first, and would appear on The Last Trane.  These are rather interesting as examples of a "piano-less trio",  something that would cause a stir when Gerry Mulligan tried it.  Earl May plays bass, and Art Taylor drums.  

The recording is quite good, and the trio format allows one to hear the bass pretty clearly at all times.  Trane's horn is fat and romantic.  That thing that everyone who loves Trane loves about Trane is here: an exquisitely smooth flow of notes.  No sheets of sound yet, but something quite compelling and uniquely his is already mature.  'I Love You' sounds a bit repetitive after 'Like Someone In Love,' but again the playing is fine. 

Also included on Lush Life was 'I Hear a Rhapsody', from the May session mentioned above, and 'Lush Life' from a January 10, 1958 session. Here is a sample: the one that didn't make it on Lush Life.
John Coltrane/Slowtrane/1957
 I highly recommend the Fearless Leader box set for any serious Trane traveler.  Enjoying a box set like this requires a little bit of time and effort, but it can be richly rewarding.  One disadvantage is that it is easy to become somewhat contemptuous of the actual albums.  Lush Life was probably assembled by the record people.  I have no idea what input Trane had on the mix of tunes.

I would also note that in this post and many others, I rely heavily on the Jazz Discography Project.  This is a priceless resource for anyone who wants to know who recorded what with who and when. 

No comments:

Post a Comment