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New boxed set reveals John Coltrane created ‘terror’ during final tour with Miles Davis, 1960
11.20.2014
08:05 am

Topics:
History
Music

Tags:
Miles Davis
jazz
John Coltrane

All of You: The Final Tour, 1960
 
In 1955, Miles Davis hired an up-and-coming musician named John Coltrane to play in his group. Over the next couple of years, the team-up produced some incredible music, but the personal relationship between the trumpeter/leader and the saxophonist was never steady. Backstage at a gig in the spring of 1957, Miles slapped Coltrane and then punched him in the stomach; Trane’s only response was to quit the band.

Coltrane returned to join Davis’ sextet later in the year, but during that short time away he had continued to make a name for himself as a group member, bandleader and recording artist in his own right. Trane played on Miles’ Kind of Blue (1959), now considered one of the cornerstones of the jazz genre, and accompanied Davis on a European tour in 1960, but mentally he was focused on his own music. Miles later admitted Coltrane “was ready to move out before we left.”
 
Kind of Blue
 
The spring 1960 European tour was spread out over twenty cities in nine countries. The new boxed set, All of You: The Last Tour, 1960 includes recordings from eight of those performances. Though the Quintet sounds fantastic as a unit, Coltrane’s solos are so unusual they caused quite a stir at the time. Kind of Blue is a lovely record that is also easy on the ears, but Trane was doing his best to make this music sound ugly.

Journalist Frank Tenot witnessed the first show of the tour in Paris: “People were very surprised why there was no John Coltrane like on Kind of Blue. So, part of the audience thinks that Coltrane doesn’t play too well, that he was playing the wrong notes, involuntarily.” Tenot went backstage after the show to tell the saxophonist, “You’re too new for the people… you go too far.” Coltrane just smiled and said, “I don’t go far enough.”

Other critics who witnessed the shows wished that Trane had held back. One reporter called his solos “scandalous,” and wrote that they “bore no relationship whatsoever with playing the saxophone.” Another writer was so horrified he equated Coltrane’s solos with the very concept of “terror.”
 
Trane in pain
 
As the leader, Davis takes the first solo during every song on these recordings, and as much as I dig Miles—his solo turns are as interesting and as exquisite as ever—after a couple of tracks, I found myself waiting for Coltrane to step up and blow me away. And he would do just that. Every time. It’s fascinating to hear him push the material—and thus, the band—especially as this was Miles’ group, not his. The fact that we now know he had mentally moved on from his role with Davis, as well as facing negative reactions to his output, only makes listening to these tracks all the more absorbing.
 
John Coltrane and Miles Davis
 
The Miles Davis Quintet returned to the states on April 11th, and it wouldn’t be long before Coltrane would make his exit. By then, Trane had made a name for himself and was well on his to becoming one of the titans of jazz.
 
John Coltrane
 
Some of the recordings on the boxed set are taken from radio broadcasts, while others were captured privately by audience members. Initially, my expectations were somewhat low as far as the fidelity of these live tapes—which date from over a half century ago—but aside from a couple of muddy sounding tracks and occasional issues with how the musicians were mic’d, the sound quality ranges from very good to surprisingly great. Hear for yourself, as we have an exclusive preview track, an up tempo version of “So What,” recorded in Stockholm, Sweden on March 22nd, 1960. The faster beat and Trane’s dissonant solo result in something excitingly different than the subdued mood created for the familiar Kind of Blue version. Enjoy.

All of You: The Last Tour, 1960 will be released on December 2nd.
 

 
Here’s a 1959 TV clip of “So What” played at a pace that more closely resembles the one found on Kind of Blue, but with Coltrane beginning to stretch, feeling his way towards the type of solos he would play on his final tour with Miles:
 

 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
‘Impressions of John Coltrane’: 3 vintage TV performances

john+coltrane
 
Impressions of John Coltrane is an excellent trio of television performances featuring John Coltrane,  with his own quartet, the Miles Davis Quintet and alongside Eric Dolphy. Filmed between 1959 and 1963, each performance reveals the quality and range of the great man’s playing.

The first comes from the series The Jazz Casual, originally aired in 1963. Here you’ll find the perfect line-up of Coltrane (tenor sax/soprano sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums). This is said to be the only time Coltrane’s “classic” quartet was caught on camera. Together they give great versions of “Impressions” and “Afro Blue”.

The second is from 1959, and has Coltrane playing with the Miles David Quintet - Davis (flügelhorn/trumpet), Coltrane (tenor sax/alto sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Jimmy Cobb (drums). They are accompanied by Gil Evans and a 15-piece orchestra. And certainly get going on “So What”, “The Duke”, “Blues for Pablo” and “New Rumba”.

The third is from West German TV in 1961, which shows Coltrane playing with Eric Dolphy (alto sax/flute), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums), who hit the spot with “My Favorite Things” and “Impressions”.

Track list:

01. “Alabama”
02. “Impressions”
03. “Afro Blue”
04. “So What” (with Miles Davis)
05. “The Duke” (with Miles Davis)
06. “Blues For Pablo” (with Miles Davis)
07. “New Rumba” (with Miles Davis)
08. “My Favorite Things” (with Eric Dolphy)
09. “Impressions” (with Eric Dolphy)
 

 
Thanks to Jazztification
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday John Coltrane
09.23.2011
01:26 pm

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Jazz
John Coltrane
Free Jazz
Be Bop

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Happy Birthday John Coltrane, musician, composer, innovator, artist and space traveler, who rocketed “off the surface of the earth towards more specialized, little explored, and potentially dangerous atmospheres”.

Born today in 1926, Coltrane has been described as “the last great figure in the evolution of jazz”, who opened jazz up into a language of possibilities. He progressed from Be-Bop to Hard Bop to Free Style, and brought a spiritual sense to his music the culminated in his genius work Love Supreme.

Coltrane didn’t question his innate talent or technical brilliance, he allowed it to develop organically, seeing himself as part of a larger creative community as he descibed in a letter to Don DeMichael, in 1962:

The “jazz” musician (you can have this term along with others that have been foisted on us) does not have to worry about a lack of positive or affirmative philosophy. It’s built in us. The phrasing, the sound of the music attests this fact. We are naturally endowed with it. You can believe all of us would have perished long ago if it had not been so. As to community, the whole face of the globe is our community. You see, it is really easy for us to create. We are born with this feeling that just comes out no matter what conditions exist.

...

Truth is indestructible. It seems history shows (and it’s the same today) that the innovator is more often than not met with some degree of condemnation.; usually according to the degree of departure from the prevailing modes of expression or what have you. Change is always hard to accept. We also see these innovators always seek to revitalize, extend and reconstruct the status quo in their given fields, whatever is needed. Quite often they are rejects, outcasts, sub-citizens etc. of the very societies to which they bring so much sustenance. Often they are people who endure great personal tragedy in their lives. Whatever the case, whether accepted or rejected, rich or poor, they are forever guided by that great eternal constant - the creative urge.

Here’s Coltrane playing “My Favorite Things” - the crossover track that broke free of Be Bop, brought him a mainstream audience, and demonstrated complex harmonies and repetitions into “a hypnotic eastern dervish dance”. 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Miles Davis’s band members on Vans sneakers

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Here are some freakin’ amazing one-of-a-kind Vans WE Sk8 Hi’s designed by super-talented artist, Ian Johnson. I totally think Vans and Ian need to make more of these fine shoes.
 
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See more images after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment