Saturday, November 3, 2012

#105: John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (1965)

Once again, we're going to ditch the familiar format because there's only three tracks on this album. Miles Davis and John Coltrane are the two big reasons why I no longer aspire to be a jazz musician. I mean this in the highest of regards. These are two men that are at the peak of their field and I can truly appreciate what they do, but it's not what I want to be. I enjoy many things that jazz brings to the table and the overall picture, however, I just enjoy pop music too much.

Let's focus on the positives. Coltrane has a very natural, warm sound to his sax. The drums provide a varying array of poly rhythms in order to keep things fresh while the piano (albeit dissonant) keeps the listener engaged. The technical recording of the drums is very, very good. The toms have a full, quick sound to them, the snare has the perfect blend of attack, bite and depth while the ride is both high, rich, and full.

The piano in the second track is a little more coherent and flows a little better and the solos are very good. Coltrane's sax solos run on a little too much for me - there's not enough space, there's not enough to run onto, and it's not that I'm a music snob it's that I'm clearly not well trained enough to truly appreciate someone as talented as Coltrane. The three tracks are variations on themes, however, I really didn't care for the themes all that much.

All in all, it's another jazz album. It's nothing I care to listen to again although I can appreciate what it is. There are a few minor takeaways from this record, such as the third track's bass solo that had no drum comping or piano comping. It really stood incredibly well on it's own and once the other instruments were reintroduced it really created the best moments on this record. The saxes have this beautiful overarching line while the drums and timpani provide a very sinister type of hold on the bottom - it's very different from the rest of the album. Then again, after this part continued on for three minutes, even the best moment on the record started to wear itself out.

Tomorrow's album: Rufus Wainwright's Out of the Game.

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