Friday, January 06, 2006

Classics to listen to: Coltrane and Montgomery

We bought two new cds last night. One is John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and the other is Verve’s Jazz Master 14 collection by Wes Montgomery. Montgomery caught a lot of flack because he interpreted pop favorites of the 60's, but today they are appreciated for what they are--great guitar playing. Whatever. The guy could play and it's sad he died too soon.

Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” is a jazz suite written in seclusion. The liner notes say he wrote for days in a little place, away from the house, his wife, and his children. It was where he could compose and work with other artists. He recorded the tracks almost in the first take and on the first track; Coltrane foregoes the saxophone and quietly chants off mike. It reminds me of Glenn Gould's original recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” On that album, you can hear him hum as he plays the piano.

Coltrane's suite praises his god outright and he wrote a long poem for the album. Because he “wore his faith on his sleeve” long before it was fashionable, he too caught grief from his peers. This effort is a sincere love poem that crosses over genres and found new and appreciative listeners. Miles Davis noted “hippies and the like” favored the album. The notes also quote the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh who said he could walk down the Haight and, at various times, hear on the same block: Bob Dylan's “Bringing it All Back Home,” Miles Davis' “Sketches of Spain,” and Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”


cindy hotpoint said...

I'm glad you wrote about these, I need to check them out!

carolyn rhea drapes aka chacal said...

what i need to do is start posting mp3's of this stuff. bet no one else does. if they do, i'd like to know who.

Sometimes you need to get away from it all.

And sometimes, it's time to return and be part of the larger world.  Between the first of 2023 and February 14, I painted many watercolo...