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John Coltrane / John Coltrane Quartet

John Coltrane Quartet Plays

back in stock 1965 was a seminal year for the john coltrane quartet a period in which the leader instigated a bold cycle of exploratory new directions leading to such extended free jazz rites as 'ascension' and 'meditations' yet for all the emotional turbulence and the protracted solo flights 'the john coltrane quartet plays' finds the saxophonist taking an affectionate powerful backwards glance at the foundation of his quartet's collective soundfrom the opening strains of 'chim chim cheree' it's obvious that this unlikely tune represents a return to the neareastern style of incantation which made 'my favorite things' such a hypnotic vehicle for extended improvisation mccoy tyner's tart chanting chords and jimmy garrison's elliptical vamp pare all the sentimentality away from the tune providing a sultry rhythmic harmonic ambience for trane's freewheeling soprano flights while the relative familiarity of this and other themes lends a reflective note to this session the level of improvisational intensity is still imposing 'brazilia' begins with a rolling airy duet between coltrane and elvin jones culminating in a powerful 44 groove as trane erects complex harmonic sand castles toying with time and theme until tyner's complex blend of rhythm and melody expands upon the tenor saxophone's ideas with grace the theme to 'nature boy' is given a lush atmospheric reading as garrison and additional bassist art davis create a lovely droning subtext trane's conversation with davis' arco bass is full of yearning and coiled intensity finally garrison's folkish strumming sets the mood for 'song of praise' when trane tyner and jones finally enter out of tempo it is with remarkable tenderness slowly building to a stirring catharsis it's yet another reminder that coltrane's greatness wasn't simply predicated on intellectual abstraction and rhythmic intensity but on the most fundamental of human emotions

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