Friday, November 27, 2009

John COLTRANE & Alice COLTRANE - Cosmic Music 1966

John COLTRANE & Alice COLTRANE - Cosmic Music 1966


This album features two tracks by the John Coltrane group, i.e. tracks # 1 & 3. This recording is especially interesting because it features the first recordings of the new John Coltrane group after the departure of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones. And from the first note, you hear the difference. This is not meant to degrade the truly great work of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, but Coltrane's music on this record sounds as if it has been freed, in some way. I really love the preceding studio recording, "Meditations", but this record sounds much freer in some ways, and that is because McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones had different musical conceptions, which were incompatilble with the direction Coltrane was going to take. And this recording is the perfect example. "Manifestation" features a freely pulsating rhythm which provides the two tenors with a ground from where to start their flight. And what a flight it is! Alice Coltrane's piano solo is really capturing, also proving that she is more suitable for this kind of music than her predecessor. Then, the two tenors pick up again, this time both at the same time. Pharoh Sanders can also be heard on piccolo on this tune, which adds an interesting note. Track #3, "Reverend King", is a real gem: it features John Coltrane on bass clarinet. While he may not have mastered this instrument as perfectly as all kinds of saxophones, it is most fascinating to hear him play it. The song starts with an incantation by Coltrane and Sanders, then the theme is played by Coltrane on bass clarinet, and then he pauses, giving room to excellent solos by the other players, only to return towards the end of the piece, playing one of his most intense performances ever. The piece closes with the repating of the theme and the incantation from the beginning. Those two pieces of music are only 22 minutes long, combined.The other two tracks were recorded by Alice Coltrane in 1968, after the death of her husband. It features Pharoah Sanders, and I also like these two tracks.There are said to be more pieces from these sessions, still unreleased and, unfortunately, buried somewhere in some archive, so that they haven't been found yet. One can only hope that they will see the light of day sometime, so that these stunning sessions can be released in their entirety.
Jimmy Garrison- Bass
Ben Riley (tracks: A2, B2) , Rashied Ali (tracks: A1, B1)- Drums, Percussion
Pharoah Sanders- Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
Ray Appleton (tracks: A1, B1)- Percussion
Alice Coltrane- Piano  
John Coltrane (tracks: A1, B1)- Saxophone, Clarinet, Vocals
A1. Manifestation 11:37
A2. Lord Help Me To Be 7:29
B1. Reverend King 11:00
B2. The Sun 4:02
(Tracks 1 and 3 are John Coltrane's last recordings from 1966 and then tracks 2 and 4 are Alice Coltrane's from 1968.)

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