Friday, March 18, 2005


Friday shuffle (or is it?)

Wherein I randomize my MP3 player and share with you the results. Unlike last week's inaugural edition, this week's shuffle is from the "Jazz" folder.

1. "Your Lady," by John Coltrane, from The Classic Quartet: Complete Impulse Studio Recordings, Disc 2.
2. "Central Park West," by John Coltrane, from Coltrane's Sound.
3. "After the Crescent," by John Coltrane, from Classic Quartet, Disc 4.
4. "Mingus Fingers," by Lionel Hampton.
5. "It's Easy to Remember," by John Coltrane, from Classic Quartet, Disc 1.
6. "Someday My Prince Will Come," by Bill Evans, from Portrait in Jazz.
7. "Haunted Heart," by Bill Evans, from Explorations.
8. "Mr. P.C.," by John Coltrane, from Giant Steps.
9. "All of Me," by Louis Armstrong.
10. "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," by Red Garland, from Red Garland Revisited.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Uh, where's the shuffle?" I should explain that my "Jazz" folder is divided into three alphabetical folders, A-Da (for Davis, Miles), De-L, and M-Z. (You in the back, wake up!) Each folder contains roughly 500 songs, but my Archos Jukebox will only load 999 songs onto a playlist. This means that unless I want to go through and pick out particular albums, I usually just put two of the three folders on a playlist and let it rip. That means, though, that particular artists are often highly overepresented.

Not that I'm complaining. You might gather from this list that I am a connoisseur of Coltrane, and you would be right. And if you like Coltrane too, you'll actually see that this list is still quite a mix, drawing as it does on albums from his early years as a leader on Atlantic (Giant Steps and Coltrane's Sound), as well as albums from the "Classic Quartet" years at Impulse with McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass. By the way, the Classic Quartet box set is worth every penny that you pay for it. It ranges from the early ballad albums on Disc 1 and 2 to the pinnacles of Love Supreme and Crescent. After Love Supreme, of course, Coltrane fans start to divide into those who were disappointed by the dissolution of the Classic Quartet (foreshadowed by aptly named songs like "After the Crescent") and those who stand by their man even though he got a little wiggy with the multi-instrumentalist experiments of his last years.

I certainly favor the Classic Quartet era, but I'm open to the later stuff too. Basically, my feelings about Coltrane are much like Bubba Gump's feelings about shrimp: I'll take it any way you serve it up. Coltrane, Coltrane Jazz, Coltrane's Sound, Coltrane Plays the Blues, Olé Coltrane, Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane, Soultrane, The Gentle Side of John Coltrane, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, The John Coltrane Quartet Plays ... You get the idea.

By the way, No. 11 on this playlist would have been "The Drum Thing," by John Coltrane, from Crescent, and No. 13 or 14 would have been "Lonnie's Lament" from the same. The latter has perhaps the most soulful piano solo ever recorded. Okay, now I'll stop.

Collective Improvisation:
A few years ago, recognizing my total ignorance of jazz, I went out and bought "Soultrain" and "Supreme Love" by John Coltrane. I had never heard of Coltrane and had no particular reason for picking his music. I just wanted to expand my musical enjoyment into jazz. After listening to the CD, I realized his music (as you know) is fantastic stuff. So I'm still ignorant about music in general and jazz in particular, but I'm a lifelong convert to Coltrane. Maybe I should start prosyletizing. 

Posted by Dogwood Blue

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