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post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
I don't really know Coltrane at all -- I've heard some of his stuff, but don't own any. So you can pretend I didn't mention Coltrane. I will get Ascension, though. Are there any others you would recommend?
post #17 of 27
Eeks - don't get Ascension unless you want to...um....have an experience.

Seriously - I like the album, tho at times the music is slightly....clumsy....other ppl think it's perfect...some feel it's total sonic anarchy.

If you want Coltrane at his most accesible AND with his characteristic sound, check out A Love Supreme, Impressions, and Crescent - the first and last especially....Impressions is him on the Soprano sax....a different sound altogether, tho still very much Trane.

Anyway.......let's keep this discussion alive
post #18 of 27
If you want Coltrane at his most accesible AND with his characteristic sound, check out A Love Supreme, Impressions, and Crescent
Aren't you forgetting something, coolvij? Like BLUE TRAIN or GIANT STEPS???

Also, Thelonius Monk with John Coltrane is a pretty amazing album.
post #19 of 27
'Ascension' has it moments of greatness but is not very focused or paced for many of the 40 or so minutes of chaos that insues!

I think 'Live at Birdland' is one of the Coltrane Quartet's most accessible(but still challenging) performances.

of course 'A Love supreme'

I also really dig 'Live at the Village Vanguard' mainly for the many takes of 'Chasin' the Train'(Some of Trane's best soloing).

Coltrane & Duke Ellington is also a very accessible and enjoyable album.(best version of 'In a Sentimental Mood' I've ever heard).

What's great about playing and listening to this type of music is that it challenges your mind and emotions at the same time. I take issue with the idea that Trane and Miles are lacking thoughtfullness. Have you ever heard 'Giant Steps' and looked at the transcribed solo? It's as about as intellectual as the theory of relativity! Not to mention the rest of Trane's "sheets of sound period"(ie. Blue Train or Monk & Coltrane) or the second Miles Davis Quintet for that matter.

The greats like Miles, Trane, Monk, Mingus, etc. were much more authentic and individualistic in their approach than alot of artsits today. They were speaking from their hearts and yes, their minds, not from a textbook like alot of the artists today. Alot of the jazz artists today are mechanical and lacking individuality, authenticism, and yes emotion. People like Wynton or Branford Marsalis sound completely generic and dated to me - they sound like they just read the 'how to be a musician' handbook

Take a listen to the Dave Holland Quintet for some modern and truly authentic and group oriented music.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
BenG: I've only really started into jazz music -- the only Miles music with which I'm intimately familiar is Kind of Blue. With Monk, it's Live at the "It" Club. I don't have any of Coltrane's music, as I said above. But from what I have heard, Monk's music is more intellectual than Miles's, and Mehldau's is more so than Monk's (three M's! ). I don't think that Mehldau is "unoriginal," but from the brief samples off cdnow.com and amazon.com that I listened to for an idea of much of modern jazz and the live jazz concerts that get played on the radio, I do know what you mean by the textbook jazz sound. But to tell you the truth, the Bill Evans music I've heard seems to be rather textbook-like as well! True, in a sense he's partly responsible for the textbook of jazz piano, but that still leaves him as a dated artist.
post #21 of 27
Mehldau is developing into a very original voice, I agree, very appealing to classical sensibilities as well. I was indeed making a comment about the general scene these days - an occassional rant and bulling of your favorite musicians can be cleansing sometimes
post #22 of 27
MacDEF: Blue Train is a nice album, but it is very "blue-noteish" - for some reason, I never really feel like Coltrane is going all out on ANY of his solos. Giant Steps is a great album, and I just sorta didn't like it as much as say, Crescent

Tho, Giant Steps is definetely better than Impressions - "my bad."

Once again - Blue Train is great, but not my rec. for "The Trane Sound" - I like it because it DIFFERS from some of his other stuff...

And Giant Steps shoulda been on the list...the solos really are, as I think I've said before, unplayable by anyone except John Coltrane...

post #23 of 27
Mehldau is just great, I really never felt compelled to make Monk take a back seat, two different types of music. I prefer the trio series to "places" by Mehldau. Thought provoking, cold maybe, but beautiful. I love listening to the radiohead tune that he does, it sounds very classical. I never thought that I would consider that "exit from a movie?" was a classical tune but when played just on piano it sounds so different from the original.

Speaking of different, the Dave Holland Quintet gets my vote for turning jazz on it's ear. Stellar writing, visceral, as happy to my ears as listening to Mehldau. I'd place Holland closer to Monk and Coltrane for impact.

Holland is closer to traditional jazz, but does that exist anymore? Is Bill Evans traditional? I guess it depends on where you begin you're jazz education. After a period of time the term traditional fades/ changes in meaning and new terms must be applied.

I listened to some music today written LONG ago for strings and played by saxes. Classical sax is very rare but this sounded very good to my ears. So is anything new or is it all recycled, nothing is closer to jazz than classcal except for pop or blues
post #24 of 27
Originally posted by MacDEF

Yeah, he was being very Xander-like.

(just teasing, Xander )
Hey, I resent that.
post #25 of 27
I already have Coltrane, Miles etc, but no Monk. Can someone recommend a few titles, and if possible denote the specific release of those titles?

P.S. Which is the best version of Blue Train?

post #26 of 27
My favorite two Monk titles are "Straight, No Chaser" and "Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane"

I have the SACD of SNC, so I'm not sure which Redbook issue to recommend. The best "with Coltrane" release I've seen is the 2000 Jazzland remaster (Jazzland JCD-46-2).

I have the MFSL Gold disc of Blue Train. I've read that it's the best version -- anyone hear of any more recent release that bests it?
post #27 of 27

My Favorite Monk

"Monk In Action" on domestic (U. S.) CD; recorded live at the Five Spot in 1958. Soon after Trane left Monk, Johnny Griffin took his place, inspired by Trane's fire. This is my favorite Johnny Griffin record and one of my favorite Monk records. Everybody is on - Monk, Griffin, Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass, and the amazing Roy Haynes on drums. "Misterioso" is from the same gig and is also excellent. Many extra tracks added that were not on the original LPs.

"Underground" is an overlooked gem from late in Monk's Columbia records period. The band is inspired. Monk even wrote new songs for this one.

"Brilliant Corners" is a unique record with an array of fabulous musicians, struggling (in a wonderful way) to play some amazing compositions. Monk's compositions can sound deceptively simple, but the odd metrics (especially at the time of this recording) make them a challenge and a joy to play correctly. Wondrous sonorities and juxtapositions abound. Monk even plays celeste...

"Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane" is an album of rare beauty. John Coltrane was transformed during his tenure with Monk in 1957. Compare his work with Miles before and after. Read Trane's notes in "A Love Supreme" written during this period.

If I may digress, I don't see how a European concert music sensibility is more "intellectual" than a "jazz" sensibility, especially with an awareness of Musicians like Miles, Monk, or Trane. Creative, disciplined musicianship involves both the heart and the head.

When someone makes a dichotomy between emotion and intellect about a musician's works, I think they are usually describing how they absorb the music, rather than the musician's process or the music itself.
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