Pim

John Coltrane - Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

266 posts in this topic

8 minutes ago, Chuck Nessa said:

As usual, go back. Duh!

Yes, that's what I plan to do.  Which post to do you recommend I go back to?

I appreciate any direction or insights you might share.   

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On 10/22/2021 at 4:58 PM, ep1str0phy said:

Very early impressions - and keep in mind that all of this is visceral rather than considered, because my opinion could easily shift upon re-listen:

This is a remarkable document that I feel tremendously privileged to have heard. I also think that mileage may vary. This is closer to The Olatunji Concert or Offering than it is the Antibes A Love Supreme. By this I mean that the imperfection of the recording is just distracting enough to color my view of the music, and insofar as Coltrane's voice is the focal point of the suite, having him recessed so far into the background sort of untethers things. I'd almost trade the sound on this for Olatunji, because although Olatunji is extremely harsh, the energy of the performance communicates the intentions of the performers very clearly.

There's that aphoristic phrase (that I cannot source - maybe someone else will remember) about Albert Ayler's recordings being mere "rumors" of the real thing, and that's kind of how I feel about these archival Coltrane recordings. The recording is itself something that is meant to be consumed, because the actual live energy is lost to time. In the case of something like Olatunji, you can (a) choose to listen selectively, mentally blocking out all the clipping and filling in the blanks when it comes to inaudible piano, bass, etc., or (b) you can listen to Olatunji for what it is - i.e., a monolith of poorly recorded free jazz that that is played with virtuosity and passion. It's up to you. Most of the time, I choose the latter.

That being said, the rhythm section on the Seattle A Love Supreme is recorded in stunning clarity, the restoration and mastering are exceptionally clean, and there are episodes of music here that are truly worthy of the hagiographic hype. Pharoah's solo on "Acknowledgement" is astonishing, in main because there isn't much other opportunity to hear the Pharoah of this vintage square his extended technique-focused playing into a groove this insistent. Carlos Ward's solo on "Resolution" is also a standout, superficially reminiscent of Dolphy on the Vanguard recordings - but much more abstract. There is also a lot of period appropriate filigree - including miscellaneous percussion on "Acknowledgement" and a battery of bass duos - that feels well-integrated.

Under certain circumstances, I'd think that this was the best "new" Coltrane release in decades. At this moment - and I'm ashamed to even be typing this - I could use slightly less Elvin Jones and a lot more Trane. A Love Supreme may have been a collective effort, but that effort hinged on a kind of balance between pieces that feels - in this moment - absent on this recording. As it is, this is "just" a really, really good live Coltrane record - and a worthy appendix to Live In Seattle

Well said - thanks for that.

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I wonder why they didn't use any spectral technologies to bring up the saxes and bass.  The piano is nice and loud though.  

Listening to the ABC broadcast.  The off-mic sax through my laptop speakers sounds almost like a viola in places.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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I listened to the entire album.  Either my ears adjusted, or the saxes were getting louder as the recording progressed.  

I hopped right on the recent-ish releases of Both Directions at Once and Le Chat Dans Le Sac, but I am on the fence with this one.  I will probably get it though.

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I feel like it gives you a pretty good idea of what Elvin sounded like in person -- certainly from what I've read, Coltrane was hardly the loudest in the group!

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1 hour ago, clifford_thornton said:

I feel like it gives you a pretty good idea of what Elvin sounded like in person -- certainly from what I've read, Coltrane was hardly the loudest in the group!

On one of his gigs with the Jazz Machine, my party had the table right smack-bang next to Elvin’s drums. It was loud !  During intermission he was so gracious as to pop over to the table and apologise to us for the volume. :)  The loudest time I heard him was 81/82 though, with Pat LaBarbera and Alan Skidmore. By the 90s he had cranked it down a bit.

Great guy.

Edited by sidewinder

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35 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

On one of his gigs with the Jazz Machine, my party had the table right smack-bang next to Elvin’s drums. It was loud !  During intermission he was so gracious as to pop over to the table and apologise to us for the volume. :)  The loudest time I heard him was 81/82 though, with Pat LaBarbera and Alan Skidmore. By the 90s he had cranked it down a bit.

Great guy.

I saw him in the late 1990s in a small club, and he did not play particularly loud at all.  

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I wish I could have heard Elvin live. I did get to hear Art Blakey, just once, in 1985. He was still playing loud then. (Maybe he did 'til the end.)

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9 minutes ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I saw him in the late 1990s in a small club, and he did not play particularly loud at all.  

Yep, I saw him that era too and the loudness level was significantly lower. Used brushes a fair bit, as I recall and more emphasis on standards compared with the earlier group. The playing in the early 80s was quite similar to that heard on ‘The Prime Element’ twofer. 

5 minutes ago, Late said:

I wish I could have heard Elvin live. I did get to hear Art Blakey, just once, in 1985. He was still playing loud then. (Maybe he did 'til the end.)

Yep, saw Blakey at least 3 times 1980-83 and he was loud too, I agree. By then he must have been pretty well deaf.

Edited by sidewinder

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2 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

Yep, saw Blakey at least 3 times 1980-83 and he was loud too, I agree.

Do you remember the Messengers lineup? Must've been the Bobby Watson/Marsalis era, I'm guessing.

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5 minutes ago, Late said:

Do you remember the Messengers lineup? Must've been the Bobby Watson/Marsalis era, I'm guessing.

I think the first time was ‘79/80 with the Ponomarev/Schnitter/Watson/Irwin lineup (or was it Bill Hardman on trumpet? - can’t remember). 1982 had Wynton and Branford. Early 1983 had Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison and  Jean Toussaint (who stayed over here). All those gigs were at Ronnie Scott’s. Packed houses - Blakey was very popular here.

Edited by sidewinder

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31 minutes ago, adh1907 said:

Saw him at Ronnie Scott’s with Ravi Coltrane, must have been late 80s or 90s, not too loud at all. Seen to remember his Japanese wife involved in some way. 

Yeah, Ravi was in the band I saw at Scotts, pretty sure it was Summer 1996. Next time he visited it was with Sonny Fortune I think.

Keiko used to tune up the drums in advance of every appearance I ever saw of Elvin.

On one occasion I saw Elvin’s band, again with Ravi, at Carnegie Hall, part of a Coltrane tribute. That bill also featured Charles Lloyd’s group and McCoy Tyner’s trio.

Edited by sidewinder

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On 7.11.2021 at 8:01 PM, Late said:

I wish I could have heard Elvin live. I did get to hear Art Blakey, just once, in 1985. He was still playing loud then. (Maybe he did 'til the end.)

I saw Elvin live in 1979 with what he had called "Elvin Jones Jazz Machine", and it was the same personell like his then latest album "Remembrance". 

I saw Blakey many times from the late 70´s until 1989. 

I don´t have problems with loud drummers, I usually sit quite near to the drummers because I love it and I have to hear them on record too, that´s what I also like very much on this Coltrane "Love Supreme live".

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20 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Ms. TTK gave me this for Valentine's Day.  I married well!

Reminds me of something: 
My wife (Serena) gave it to me for Chrismas) ! 

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