Ole Coltrane – John Coltrane

More Trane folks, sorry. I have been reading a book about the making of A Love Supreme and started some Coltrane dipping. One of the most excruciating experiences that my wife ever subjected me to was to attend an American high school marching band competition. In a previous job I had to film spinal cord tumour removal procedures in a hospital, that wasn’t a pleasant experience, believe me the marching band experience was much worse. After the competition was over I turned to my wife and said, How did this country ever produce John Coltrane (I never really thought about saying it beforehand, it just spilled out of my mouth).
Ole isn’t everyone’s cup of Jazz tea, I really like it especially the title track which shows the band at its tightest. Coltrane’s sax on the title track is just sublime, it’s modal man. I love the bowed bass towards the end, it almost becomes a different song, sounding quite experimental. Dahomey Dance is more familiar Coltrane, with some incredible sax solos (why play 5 notes when you can play 15) from Coltrane and Eric Dolphy.
Hidden gem; Aisha (Coltrane getting all simple, why play 10 notes when you can play 4)

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A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Coltrane’s (or Trane as people a lot hipper than me call him) hymn to God, and what a hymn it is. If I were stopped on the street by SongS of Praise (what, it could happen) I would pick this as my favourite hymn, bit long for a Sunday morning service though.
When I lived in Saudi Arabia I did a car share with my next door neighbour. As the return journey was about 40 minutes we decided it was the perfect length for an album (pre-CD length). So we started an in-car, mobile music appreciation club, if you were driving that week, you got to pick the sounds. He would try to get me to listen to a whole host of what I would call indie landfill and uber-bland (that is a real sub-genre) dance music. In fact after a couple of weeks I dreaded the commute to work more than the job itself. I tried to scheme a way to end our car share relationship (as outside these 40 minutes we didn’t really socialise) and John Coltrane gave me the out I was looking for. When it came to my week I picked A Love Supreme and played it every day for the whole week. At the weekend I got a message on my answering machine saying he wouldn’t be car sharing for the foreseeable as he was going to stay behind at work to work on his Open University course, thank you Mr Coltrane, Amen.
Frankly, anyone who can’t take a week of A Love Supreme shouldn’t be riding in my car. This was my first Jazz album (and I have been wandering around, alone, on that slippery slope ever since) and has always remained my favourite. I have an empty house today so I sat and listened to the whole album in one sitting (a bit of air saxophone may have occurred at certain points) it still sounds amazing and beats The Lord Is My Shepherd with ease.