||From the Vault...
"Ken Burns Jazz"
© VerveMusicGroup Records
Year of Release: 1996
My Favorite Things
Chasin' The Trane
In A Sentimental Mood
John Coltrane related sites:
"Ken Burns Jazz"
The Ken Burns Jazz series is a fantastic look at popular Jazz
artists, and our first review from that series, is John Coltrane. One of
the true great giants in contemporary jazz, John Coltrane's music selected
for this series, is upbeat, sexy, and has great style. A popular style in
jazz, the "stacatto" style where all instruments are "going in their own
directions" in a fast pace, this particular style may not be one of
my favorites, but it is to many others.
"'Round Midnight" is a great jazz tune, that's slow and sexy, and a
very good mood setter. Performed with Miles Davis, this song is a classic,
featuring two of the finest men to ever play jazz. And it also shows just
how incredible jazz can be heard in a slow, and sexual style. "Mr. P.C."
is upbeat traditional jazz, kickin' and bouncy from start to finish; a great
showcasing of Coltrane's saxophone, likewise great jazz drum solos by Art Taylor.
Another great jazz song in the style of "'Round Midnight" is the
next song, "Naima." Coltrane's saxophone and the piano (Red Garland)
keeps the song alive and has a mystified sexy style. The classic Rodgers &
Hammerstein "My Favorite Things" is as upbeat and styled as Dave Brubeck's
"Take Five." Everything blends well with this song, as Coltrane's saxophone
and McCoy Tyner's piano are the standouts.
"Chasin' The Trane" is another upbeat number, featuring the staccato
styles of only three instruments: Saxophone (Coltrane), Drums (Elvin Jones)
and Bass (Jimmy Garrison). This sound is true jazz, and how everyone keeps up
with the staccato style must be hard for any jazz artist wanting to cover this
song and style. A note to add, this song was actually taken from a live album,
Live at the Village Vanguard; this style is defintitely hard to perform,
and performing it live and well, is truly amazing. (But truthfully,
this style of jazz isn't one of my favorites, but it is truly amazing how this
style is done and accomplished.)
The slow sexy style returns with "In A Sentimental Mood" as the
saxophone and piano playing by the great Duke Ellington (who originally wrote
this song), are truly exceptional. "Afro Blue" is another live
performance, this one from Live at Birdland, and it does have the
staccato style of the same lineup heard on "Chasin' The Trane," along
with McCoy Tyner on piano. This same lineup is heard on "Alabama," as
it has a slow, yet sad and emotional feel at its beginning, yet it gets a bit
more upbeat later, it still has the mystery of emotion throughout.
A sense of mystery is exceptional on "Acknowledgment" as the upright
bass is the standout, alongside Coltrane's sax. "Jupiter" has the
staccato style again, as only two main instruments are heard, Coltrane's sax,
and drums by Rashied Ali. Additional bells are also heard by Coltrane.
The stacatto style of jazz is mostly heard on this Ken Burns Jazz
compilation. This style is not truly one of my favorites in Jazz, yet it's
the slow and sexy styled songs that are truly the standouts on this album, and
as a whole, it showcases the different styles of Coltrane as a genius in his
own right in the style of jazz.
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