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Showing posts from December, 2012

Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come (1961)

1961's Someday My Prince Will Come is one of the underrated albums in the discography of Miles Davis.

A transitional album if there ever was one. John Coltrane appears on two tracks, the title track and the Epic "Teo", the latter being my personal favorite solo from Coltrane during the Davis era.

Someday My Prince Will Come is also known as the album where the usually stellar and underrated tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley is upstaged by Coltrane.

Indeed Mobley does seem over matched head to head, but Mobley pound for pound was a very capable melodic player, and it is unfair he is compared to Coltrane.

I must say, I believe Mobley was out of place with Davis, after all it took Miles 4 years to find Wayne Shorter after Coltrane left the band for good in 1960.

"Someday" leads off with the title track, taken from the 1937 film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  This track features solos by Coltrane and Mobley. Mobley doesn't embarrass him self, but next to Trane…

John Coltrane's Posthumously Released Masterpiece Interstellar Space: (1974)

Interstellar Space is a fascinating set of duet recordings between John Coltrane and drummer Rashied Ali that were released 7 years after Coltrane's death in 1974.

What really makes these recordings so valuable is Coltrane's modern technique on tenor, and Ali's drums for that matter. This is music that 45 years later still sound like it was recorded 100 years into the future.

Since I am not a saxophonist nor a drummer, I can only judge this music by the mood it evokes. Interstellar Space is easily one of the most stirring jazz recordings I have ever heard.

 Coltrane's playing is from another world, perhaps John was in touch with the forces that would soon claim him, as he would be gone but a few months later? I still have no idea how drummer Ali was able to go toe to toe on this music with Trane.

I get the feeling when listening to the sheer earnestness of the playing that Coltrane had no where else to go, I listen to this music, and I say, how could you advance this m…

John Coltrane/ Alice Coltrane: Cosmic Music.

Cosmic Music is an album that is seriously overlooked in the Coltrane catalog, mainly because of the Alice Coltrane and John Coltrane divide of the album.

After all, we are talking about just over 20 minutes of John, and the other 14 minutes or so, his wife Alice's first 2 recordings laid to tape at Impulse.

I can't find anything wrong with the 2 Alice tracks, "Lord Help Me Be" and "The Sun" these tracks were issued as bonus tracks for her Impulse album Monastic Trio reissue.

 The 2 longer John Coltrane tracks are "Reverend King" and "Manifestation".

 These tracks were recorded right after the departure of McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, and have the freer style. Drummer Rashied Ali is an all together different drummer than Elvin Jones, Ali's not as powerful, but he shades and accents in different ways, he is more subtle than Jones.

Alice is an underrated player, very bluesy, and I am talking about a stripped down Otis Spann piano Blue…

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (1965)

Volumes have been written about John Coltrane's religious inspired masterpiece A Love Supreme. Even more amazing how many records this actually sold, this is certainly not a smooth jazz record.

If someone new to jazz asks where to start with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme would NOT be it. Yet it is widely considered the second or third greatest recording in jazz history, right behind Miles Davis and his 1959 masterpiece Kind of Blue.

I remember the first time I was exposed to this glorious music, it was the first movement "Acknowledgement" and it was on the Ken Burns Jazz John Coltrane Sampler, I had been exposed to Miles Davis earlier in mid 90's.

I did not develop a serious love for the jazz until after that year 2000 Burns documentary. As flawed as Burns' warped view of jazz was, I do owe him a debt for setting up a preamble of jazz history for me. I had to go out and find the avant-garde and jazz rock on my own.

After that Burn's documentary I was hoo…

Caldera: The Best Fusion Band you Never Hear About.

The best way to describe Caldera is to Take equal parts of Weather Report and Return to Forever, and then add a heavy dose of authentic Latin funk.

 In Fact, next to Caldera, Weather Report seems overrated, especially the more commercial oriented late 70's early 80's version of that band.

I also thought that Weather Report's "funk" could be dry and lifeless, even with Jaco Pastorious' chops on bass. For some reason the later WR just seemed like lite jazz to me.

Caldera only had 4 albums from 76'to 79', the self titled debut, Sky Islands, Time and Chance and Dreamer, but nothing light weight about the Latin fire that melds with the Return to Forever like chops.

I think Santana mixed with RTF would be another apt description of Caldera, just a touch of Earth Wind and Fire shows up now and then as well.

All four of the albums are worth owning, each building on the last, and never watering down the latin jazz funk fusion.

Unfortunately in their day, Cald…