From the Vault...


John Coltrane
"Ken Burns Jazz"

© VerveMusicGroup Records Year of Release: 1996

track listing
  • 'Round Midnight
  • Mr. P.C.
  • Naima
  • My Favorite Things
  • Chasin' The Trane
  • In A Sentimental Mood
  • Afro Blue
  • Alabama
  • Acknowledgment
  • Jupiter

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    John Coltrane related sites:
    John Coltrane Website
    Previous Review: #889
    Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays--As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
    Next Review: #891
    Donnie Iris--Back On The Streets
    John Coltrane
    "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.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of VerveMusicGroup Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #889
    Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays--As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
    Next Review: #891
    Donnie Iris--Back On The Streets