Pim

John Coltrane - Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

263 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Am very excited about this.  Didn’t realize this recording existed.

Edited by Guy Berger

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15 hours ago, Mark Stryker said:

Special shoutout here belongs to my old friend Steve Griggs, a Seattle saxophonist (and Organissimo board member), who is the person who actually discovered the tape among Joe Brazil's belongings. As honest and selfless as the day is long, Steve has been doing pioneering research into the life and career of the Detroit-born Brazil and it is he who befriended Joe's widow and took the first steps toward this material seeing the light of day. 

Thnx for this clarification ....

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Ok..."interludes"? What are these?

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47 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Ok..."interludes"? What are these?

I’m guessing pretty free stuff, clearly unstructured enough to not be recognizable as part of the original suite.

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Or maybe it's McCoy playing intermission piano, so people can go to the phone booth and the waitresses can come by and take drink orders without interrupting the band.

Maybe?

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While the live Love Supreme from France is nice, there were apparently some problems that spoiled the mood.   They say that Coltrane and Elvin were very angry at each other for some reason that day and the band had to soak up the extremely hot July sun in their wool suits.  So I am expecting that this one might surpass it.  

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23 hours ago, felser said:

Tyner and Elvin were on the outs at that point.  Live in Seattle has a very disconcerting vibe, and Om is a nightmare.  And this is Trane's most beloved work done in that atmosphere.  And you can't unhear it once you hear it.

I never got the criticism of Om, Live in Seattle and this period in general. Though not Tranes best albums they aren’t bad either. There’s still a lot of magic. I’ve always had a feeling that lots of people just parrot the critics on these albums (not saying you do Felser, don’t get me wrong). 
 

Same goes for albums like ‘Interstellar Space’, ‘Live in Japan’ and the stunning ‘Stellar Regions’. Comments like: Pharoah didn’t knew what he was doing, Alice was an unworthy successor of McCoy or that Trane definitely lost his way here… bullshit if you ask me. In fact they are among my favorite albums.

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16 minutes ago, Pim said:

 Comments like: Pharoah didn’t knew what he was doing, Alice was an unworthy successor of McCoy or that Trane definitely lost his way here… bullshit if you ask me. In fact they are among my favorite albums.

I call bullshit on those comments too. 

I have over the years become quite taken with "Om." On recent listenings I've develped a suspicion it might foreshadow some of the sounds that Miles put down in sessions released on "Big Fun" for example. I have a sneaky suspicion Miles paid some serious attention to that one.

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11 minutes ago, Pim said:

 Comments like: Pharoah didn’t knew what he was doing...

Yeah, Pharoah knew exactly what he was doing. He couldn't do that if he didn't.

This is neither the time, place, nor audience for saxophone lessons, so suffice it to say that he demonstrates a real mastery of the instrument's ability to produce overtones through multiple means, to say nothing of tonguing techniques and embouchure manipulations. It's not beginner's stuff, far from it. And he replicates it flawlessly. There are people who fake it, but you can tell a faker from a player, in ters of have they done the work to do it like that.

So yeah - Pharoah knew exactly what he was doing. Anybody who claims otherwise is displaying their ignorance of how the instrument works.

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I've always found something a little lacking about Coltrane's early free period (i.e., Ascension and onwards, to the end of 66), despite enjoying free jazz in general. I don't think it is Sanders so much as the rest of the group(s), including Coltrane. It doesn't click to my ears - perhaps the saxophone is a bit too macho. Those records from 65 / 66, regardless of who is on piano or drums, aren't my favourites, and I think they compare very poorly to the final trio of records from 67: Expression, Interstellar Space and Stellar Regions, which I think are masterpieces.

Even so, I am excited about this new release.

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Well everyone experiences it in his own way of course. If music doesn’t speak to you, it just doesn’t. But I sometimes feel that people listen to some of those records prepossessed, influenced by the reviews of so called ‘experts’.

The constant quality of the body of Trane’s work has always amazed me. There’s no artist who has produced so many highlights in his musical career to me, not even my beloved Mal. I also don’t know anyone who has changed directions so many times in a revolutionary way in such a short time. The evolution of Coltrane in, say 6 years is fascinating. When you listen to The Village Vanguard Records with Dolphy, then Africa/Brass, then Crescent, then Transition, then Ascenscion, then Sun Ship, then Live in Japan, then Stellar Regions and finally Interstellar Space. That evolution in his playing is just amazing.

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Speaking of this and later Trane, is it really possible that only "Naima" and "My Favorite Things" were recorded at the Vanguard in 1966? Did Impulse only record one set? Did they record more but destroy the tapes after selecting the album material? Seems odd there would be nothing else.

Also, does anyone know anything about the 12/26/66 Village Gate tape?

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15 minutes ago, Pim said:

The constant quality of the body of Trane’s work has always amazed me. There’s no artist who has produced so many highlights in his musical career to me, not even my beloved Mal. I also don’t know anyone who has changed directions so many times in a revolutionary way in such a short time. The evolution of Coltrane in, say 6 years is fascinating.

Pim, may I kindly suggest Ellington as someone who changed directions quite a few times? True, that was over a period of 50 years, not merely 6. 😜

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1 minute ago, EKE BBB said:

Pim, may I kindly suggest Ellington as someone who changed directions quite a few times? True, that was over a period of 50 years, not merely 6. 😜

Of course there are more artists who changed directions so many times. It was really the time frame Trane was doing it in that I wanted to point out ;)

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1 minute ago, Pim said:

Of course there are more artists who changed directions so many times. It was really the time frame Trane was doing it in that I wanted to point out ;)

👌

Having said that, I am quite excited about this release. ‘A Love Supreme’ was one of the first three jazz albums I ever bought. And it still touches my heart every time I play it. 

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1 hour ago, Rabshakeh said:

I've always found something a little lacking about Coltrane's early free period (i.e., Ascension and onwards, to the end of 66), despite enjoying free jazz in general. I don't think it is Sanders so much as the rest of the group(s), including Coltrane. It doesn't click to my ears - perhaps the saxophone is a bit too macho.

It's this character in the music that I find appealing - not the machoism, of course, but the imperfection in the core concept. Insofar as this period of Trane is experimental in a practical sense, it may even be fair to argue that Alice, Frank Wright, Horace Tapscott, and any number of other artists took the basic formulae of this era and perfected it into something more fully realized. 

What makes this era so special is that it both presages something new and unravels something that was already perfect (i.e., the classic quartet). Like, that quartet formula was ironclad, and it's worth considering that that band was performing regularly for, what, five or so years? I'd imagine that that quartet would arrive at junctures where it felt devoid of risk, and maybe it was the imperative of the leader to push it in directions that accorded with his own desire to learn, self-actualize, etc. 

There are obvious indications that Trane was cognizant of the fact that the quartet music was so correct that it was probably foolhardy to abandon it wholesale (e.g., "I figured I could do two things: I could have a band that played like the way we used to play, and a band that was going in the direction that this, the one I have now is going in" - or the Stellar Regions session, where, according to Charles Davis, Coltrane was actively watching the clock and attempting to keep the duration of the performances to a minimum).

I think this is why 65/66 is so special. There's this unanswered question of where Coltrane was headed should he have lived past 40, and one very fair assumption is that the mechanics of the quartet music would have reasserted themselves in some way. This speculation is both academic and kind of pointless, but it does drive home the point that 65/66 probably was the periphery - i.e., that's probably as messy and chaotic and daring as it was going to get. Read in that fashion, that music feels like more of a destination rather than a transition. (Accordingly, I recall Jim saying something about Interstellar Space in particular to this very effect, and that's always resonated with me.) 

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9 minutes ago, ep1str0phy said:

It's this character in the music that I find appealing - not the machoism, of course, but the imperfection in the core concept. Insofar as this period of Trane is experimental in a practical sense, it may even be fair to argue that Alice, Frank Wright, Horace Tapscott, and any number of other artists took the basic formulae of this era and perfected it into something more fully realized. 

What makes this era so special is that it both presages something new and unravels something that was already perfect (i.e., the classic quartet). Like, that quartet formula was ironclad, and it's worth considering that that band was performing regularly for, what, five or so years? I'd imagine that that quartet would arrive at junctures where it felt devoid of risk, and maybe it was the imperative of the leader to push it in directions that accorded with his own desire to learn, self-actualize, etc. 

There are obvious indications that Trane was cognizant of the fact that the quartet music was so correct that it was probably foolhardy to abandon it wholesale (e.g., "I figured I could do two things: I could have a band that played like the way we used to play, and a band that was going in the direction that this, the one I have now is going in" - or the Stellar Regions session, where, according to Charles Davis, Coltrane was actively watching the clock and attempting to keep the duration of the performances to a minimum).

I think this is why 65/66 is so special. There's this unanswered question of where Coltrane was headed should he have lived past 40, and one very fair assumption is that the mechanics of the quartet music would have reasserted themselves in some way. This speculation is both academic and kind of pointless, but it does drive home the point that 65/66 probably was the periphery - i.e., that's probably as messy and chaotic and daring as it was going to get. Read in that fashion, that music feels like more of a destination rather than a transition. (Accordingly, I recall Jim saying something about Interstellar Space in particular to this very effect, and that's always resonated with me.) 

I think that my issue with this period is not the rejection of the quartet setting and/or the change in side(wo)men, but Coltrane himself.

To my ears, in the immediate aftermath of Ascension, Coltrane adopted a very aggressive free jazz style, which sounds to me like he might have been trying to keep up with the new trend of energy music initiated by Ayler and epitomised by younger players like early Pharaoh.

I find that listening to it is the only time whilst listening to Coltrane that it doesn’t get me (and this is not a fear of freedom or abrasive playing). I have never been able to shake the suspicion that the tenor player one hears on tracks like The Father The Son and the Holy Ghost might have - far from leaving behind the safety of the Quartet to follow his own heart - actually been being caught up in a trend in which he was in part a follower. His playing sounds less personal and unique to me on those records than at any point since his earliest career.

I think that the contrast between those immediately post-Ascension records on the one hand, and those recordings that preceded Coltrane’s death on the other, is very marked - Interstellar Space in particular being my favourite record of his. The language on those later records sounds wholly personal to my ears.

To put it another way, I love the Second Quintet. It is very clear that Miles Davis found playing with Tony Williams and company invigorating and challenging. But I am glad that Davis never began to sound like Wayne Shorter.

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okay not to hijack this thread... but what would you consider the best 'Trane biography???? I find many jazz bios poorly written and too hyperbolic. I did love Robin Kelley's Monk bio...

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47 minutes ago, tranemonk said:

okay not to hijack this thread... but what would you consider the best 'Trane biography???? I find many jazz bios poorly written and too hyperbolic. I did love Robin Kelley's Monk bio...

I'd recommend a combined reading of Simpkins and Porter.

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2 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I think that my issue with this period is not the rejection of the quartet setting and/or the change in side(wo)men, but Coltrane himself.

To my ears, in the immediate aftermath of Ascension, Coltrane adopted a very aggressive free jazz style, which sounds to me like he might have been trying to keep up with the new trend of energy music initiated by Ayler and epitomised by younger players like early Pharaoh.

I find that listening to it is the only time whilst listening to Coltrane that it doesn’t get me (and this is not a fear of freedom or abrasive playing). I have never been able to shake the suspicion that the tenor player one hears on tracks like The Father The Son and the Holy Ghost might have - far from leaving behind the safety of the Quartet to follow his own heart - actually been being caught up in a trend in which he was in part a follower. His playing sounds less personal and unique to me on those records than at any point since his earliest career.

I think that the contrast between those immediately post-Ascension records on the one hand, and those recordings that preceded Coltrane’s death on the other, is very marked - Interstellar Space in particular being my favourite record of his. The language on those later records sounds wholly personal to my ears.

To put it another way, I love the Second Quintet. It is very clear that Miles Davis found playing with Tony Williams and company invigorating and challenging. But I am glad that Davis never began to sound like Wayne Shorter.

You really cannot separate the music from the physics. Don't get sidetracked by all the talk about the "spiritual", that's too often used synonymously with some concept of the unrational.

They were definitely looking for something "beyond", but they were using science to direct them. Ignore Trane's comment about Ayler dealing with "the higher partials of energy" at your peril.

Just my opinion, but the big reason for Interstellar Space being the supreme accomplishment that it is is that it's the moment when all the equations got solved. Einstein died without ever figuring out his version of a Unified Field Theory. Coltrane did.

Not much of a marketing angle there, science, especially theoretical science, is not very sexy, especially when put up against the industries of "god", they're set up to be competitors, either/or, but that's a suckers game.

Ask yourself why music in damn near every idiom is stagnant and/or devolving - imo it's because society doesn't find truth preferable to comfort. Truth makes you free, and free means you have no excuses for yourself but yourself.

That's a helluva burden to bear, right?

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On 8/26/2021 at 11:57 AM, Mark Stryker said:

Special shoutout here belongs to my old friend Steve Griggs, a Seattle saxophonist (and Organissimo board member), who is the person who actually discovered the tape among Joe Brazil's belongings. As honest and selfless as the day is long, Steve has been doing pioneering research into the life and career of the Detroit-born Brazil and it is he who befriended Joe's widow and took the first steps toward this material seeing the light of day. 

As a follow up, here’s Steve’s photo of the actual tape.

 

https://joebrazilproject.blogspot.com/2021/08/a-love-supreme-live-in-seattle.html?fbclid=IwAR1sjvFefYoXNIN-NWGAiJ6FMwrdyajzUUioqa7f5wM0oYD0i7kJa2P6-x8&m=1

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Fascinating. Thanks for posting.

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1 hour ago, Mark Stryker said:

How was this so hard to find for 50+ years? Perfectly labeled, it even said “A Love” on the box.

30 years I might believe, but not 50.

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Who was looking for it before now?

 

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1 hour ago, Rooster_Ties said:

How was this so hard to find for 50+ years? Perfectly labeled, it even said “A Love” on the box.

30 years I might believe, but not 50.

The box was in a bigger box that no one opened for years. This happens more than one would think and in this case, it seems to have come to light because of one person's persistence....

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