John Coltrane - Live At The Village Vanguard Again! (1966/2016) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/192kHz
Artist: John Coltrane
Title: Coltrane Live At The Village Vanguard Again!
Genre: Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz, Hard Bop, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Impulse! | The Verve Music Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Release Date: 1966/2016
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 192kHz/24bit
Recorded: May 28, 1966, Village Vanguard, New York City
John Coltrane returns to the Village Vanguard – but his sound here is a lot more far-reaching than a few years before! The album's a great counterpart to the first Vanguard session – as it takes all of the bold, soaring energy of that date, and balances it with the newly introspective sound of the later Coltrane years – plus some of the freedoms learned from the Love Supreme era. The group here showcases the new territory explored by Coltrane – with Trane himself on tenor, soprano, and a bit of bass clarinet (echoing earlier Dolphy), plus Pharoah Sanders on additional tenor, Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Rasheid Ali on drums. The album only features 2 long tracks – an incredibly soulful version of "Naima", and a very firey version of "My Favorite Things", but one that begins with a haunting bass solo by Garrison!
This album was always a bit of a disappointment. John Coltrane plays passionately on "My Favorite Things" and with great beauty on "Naima," but Pharoah Sanders' ferocious screeching on the latter piece largely ruins the almost-sacred ballad. Pianist Alice Coltrane, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Rashied Ali mostly vamp behind the saxophonists. This album is worth getting for Coltrane's passionate but coherent playing, but one wishes that Sanders (who comes across as a much more limited player) had sat the night out. --AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
Live at the Village Vanguard, was one of John Coltrane's most successful and controversial albums. It was one of the first by the "classic quartet," and contained a boffo guest appearance by Eric Dolphy on the magnificent "Spiritual."
This isn't it. Five years after that triumph, Coltrane returned to the Vanguard with his New Thing quintet, expanded to a sextet for the occasion: Coltrane on soprano, tenor, and bass clarinet; Pharoah Sanders on tenor and flute; Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Rashied Ali on drums, and Emanuel Rahim on percussion. This album contains only two songs: "Naima" and "My Favorite Things," which were perhaps the two most celebrated numbers, or overplayed chestnuts, of the Coltrane catalogue. Here they are given a treatment like no other.
Ali was no Elvin Jones. This band lacks the propulsive power brought by Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. There is a slower, more meditative, less definite pace than Coltrane had worked with previously. The master seizes the opportunity to turn in, on "Naima," a theme statement and, later, a solo of such a richness and passion that Eric Nisenson, a Coltrane biographer, suggests that it was for this kind of thing Coltrane cast his lot with the avant-garde in the first place. Sanders here is still in a screaming mode, but his solo here shows in its melodic invention and fervent lyricism that Coltrane wasn't deaf when he asked him to join the band. He knew he would be able to hold up his end, and he does; too often his work in the late Coltrane quintet is overlooked for its style, rather than appreciated for its real substance.
"My Favorite Things" starts with an extended Jimmy Garrison bass solo that is good, but not as involving as the ever longer ones on Live in Japan (recorded the next month) or the astounding turn he takes to begin "Impressions" in France in the summer of 1965 (hear it—run, don't walk—on Live at Antibes, 1965, Le Jazz CD 10). Coltrane enters in high gear but with high lyricism as well. Sanders drops by for another solo of searing intensity and a furious duel with Coltrane, where the bass clarinet and flute appear, at some distance in the storm. Here the overall performance is perhaps less effective than the calmer but much longer (nearly one hour!) version recorded on Live in Japan ; certainly it's worlds away from the 1960 Atlantic original or any of the previous live versions.
This CD is worth the price for the breathtaking "Naima." "My Favorite Things" has its moments, too. People talk of "late Coltrane" as if all of his music after A Love Supreme sounded the same, but actually the music on this disc is much removed from the likes of Ascension, Om, or Live in Seattle. One might call this version of "Naima" The Gentle Side of Late Coltrane. Not for all tastes, perhaps, but essential for the musically adventurous. --Robert Spencer, All About Jazz
1 Naima 15:09
2 Introduction To My Favorite Things 06:10
3 My Favorite Things 20:21
John Coltrane, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone, flute
Alice Coltrane, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Rashied Ali, drums
Emanuel Rahim, percussion
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