Thursday, 3 February 2011

John Coltrane - Blue Train

Missed train

Having recently acquired and just finished listening I don't know how I missed out on this excellent album, not that I am a huge collector. I do believe the first jazz album I bought was John Coltrane's 'On West 42nd Street', recorded in 1957, the year Coltrane apparently beat his heroin addiction, and I have other Impulse vinyls of collected works. My favourite track has always been 'My Favorite Things' and if anyone has followed my writing so far - which at the very least is clarifying for me my listening proclivities - I will love it because of its beautiful ['pretty'] Roger/Hammerstein melodic line and then the Coltrane signature development and improvisation around this.

I was led to the saxophone and its jazz home and its genius player through rock music: it was Van Der Graaf Generator and Colosseum and Manfred Mann Chapter III and all that jazz-rock and much more that prompted me as a teenager to discover jazz and in particular Coltrane.

This album was also recorded in 1957 so there is a lovely symmetry in my recent 'discovery'. The only comments I want to make are on its clarity of playing and the joyous tone. It was researching a little more when I found out about the beating of his addiction and how this led to the 'joy' of performing and recording at that time. It's just someone else's view, but I would appear to have heard a truth in that.

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