Pim

John Coltrane - Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

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Got a download yesterday.  Hope to listen later.

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I pre-ordered immediately, but now have an estimated arrival date of November 20. :(

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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

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I was starting to type up my impressions, but won't bother now.   ep1str0phy nailed the essence of the thing much better than I could, and I totally agree with his descriptions.

 

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Shit be gettin hot up in there, that's all/what I hear.

From a saxophonistical standpoint, though, if you can hear Pharoah on "Acknowledgement" and not hear what Trane was doing in his 2nd "Transition" solo has less clean ears than I do. Those guys were already working together before they started working together, if you know what I mean.

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Dusty Groove order arrive just 24 hours after amazon. Going forth, that's what I'm doing for new releases (when offered), let Bezos fund his rocket trips with just a bitty-bit less fewer of my pennies!

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My copy arrived today, which is better than Wednesday. I'll look forward to listening to it on Monday.

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Mine’s arrived - sounding on the whole pretty good, considering the circumstances. Really like the way that Elvin’s drums are captured. Shame that Coltrane in particular is so off-mike though.

Edited by sidewinder

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51 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

Mine’s arrived - sounding very good indeed. Really like the way that Elvin’s drums are captured.

Mine arrived. Looked quite dirty with some powdery  white marks and  debris stuck down in several places ,some were probably white dusty finger prints. Then I discovered heavy multiple small scratches at the beginning of side 2 - sounded for 49 revolutions !!  Poorest new pressed record I've seen in a while. Going back....

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2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

the way that Elvin’s drums are captured.

LOUD.

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Other than the heads, that's all Pharoah on "Pursuance", right?

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My copy arrived to my hands this morning when  I walked into a CD store, sanitized my hands with the store's hand sanitizer, and then bought the CD with dirty-looking cash.

Edited by gvopedz

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2 hours ago, Clunky said:

Mine arrived. Looked quite dirty with some powdery  white marks and  debris stuck down in several places ,some were probably white dusty finger prints. Then I discovered heavy multiple small scratches at the beginning of side 2 - sounded for 49 revolutions !!  Poorest new pressed record I've seen in a while. Going back....

Sorry to hear that. Considering the cost of these is 3x the CD, pretty damn poor of Optimal.

Edited by sidewinder

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I feel like it's always a scolding even if/when you agree with him. :(

However...he is right to call out Transition... that's where McCoy seems to be a lot here. Not that record, but that place, that zone  Elvin too, for that matter.

But after a few more listens... I'm thinking that we should all chuck the narrative go back and check out John Gilmore on his early NYC days (if not a bit earlier)...if nothing else for the technical things  he was already virtuostic with before 1965. You can't overlook Ayler, of course, but Gilmore was so damn systematic about how he did it...he knew how to get there with or without the rapture, and you know, these things don't play themselves, these tenors don't.

.

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"I feel like it's always a scolding even if/when you agree with him." :(

And a scolding from way up on high, too.

 Also, he sure likes to gaseously pump up the volume: "A Love Supreme is the greatest long-form composition of American Classical Music." Really? lots of Roscoe Mitchell, for one. John Carter? More nominees are welcome.

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54 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

"I feel like it's always a scolding even if/when you agree with him." :(

And a scolding from way up on high, too.

 Also, he sure likes to gaseously pump up the volume: "A Love Supreme is the greatest long-form composition of American Classical Music." Really? lots of Roscoe Mitchell, for one. John Carter? More nominees are welcome.

Seconds on John Carter - listened to “Fields” the other day

seems Iverson needs to prove he is “in the know”. To my ears and eyes he’s another guy stuck in the historical “narrative”. I know he’s not American but I give you Agusti Fernandez for long form composition and group collective improvisation. Ethan would be surprised to know he exists, I think - and he plays the same piano Iverson plays except far better. 

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My nomination:

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Mingus (Album; Impulse!; LP-0013):  Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

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I'd say that 'long-form composition' is very overrated as a thing generally and antithetical to jazz specifically and that I like 'jazz' just fine as a name for something that doesn't need to be described as 'classical' 'cause maybe it ain't.  Maybe nothing really is and 'classical' is just not a very useful way of seeing or hearing anything.  Or maybe Iverson just pisses me off so much sometimes that I just want to disagree no matter what.

Edited by danasgoodstuff

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7 hours ago, danasgoodstuff said:

I'd say that 'long-form composition' is very overrated as a thing generally and antithetical to jazz specifically and that I like 'jazz' just fine as a name for something that doesn't need to be described as 'classical' 'cause maybe it ain't.  Maybe nothing really is and 'classical' is just not a very useful way of seeing or hearing anything.  Or maybe Iverson just pisses me off so much sometimes that I just want to disagree no matter what.

Maybe correct - personally much more interested in long form group (small or large) improvisation. In other words, can the band create for an hour or even more at a time? If they incorporate some notated materials (like Tyshawn Sorey’s Pillars) that’s great as well. 

Edited by Steve Reynolds

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21 hours ago, JSngry said:

But after a few more listens... I'm thinking that we should all chuck the narrative go back and check out John Gilmore on his early NYC days (if not a bit earlier)...if nothing else for the technical things  he was already virtuostic with before 1965. You can't overlook Ayler, of course, but Gilmore was so damn systematic about how he did it...he knew how to get there with or without the rapture, and you know, these things don't play themselves, these tenors don't.

Interesting...

We had a lively thread on this topic back in 2007.

Which particular pre-'65 Gilmore recordings/solos would you cite in this regard?  And how comfortable are you with the dating of Gilmore's work with Sun Ra circa '62-'64 when you begin to look closely at this?

 

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