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Trane is joined by Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard and four other horn players for an explosion of fiery solos and free improvisation on this famous 1965 session. Recorded with three tenors (Trane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp), two altos (Marion Brown, John Tchicai), two trumpet players (Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Johnson), two bassists (Art Davis, Jimmy Garrison), the lone McCoy Tyner on piano, and Elvin Jones on the drums, this large group is both relentless and soulful simultaneously.
1. Ascension [Pt. 1] 2. Ascension [Pt. 2]
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Throughout John Coltrane's discography there are a handful of decisive and controversial albums that split his listening camp into factions. Generally, these occur in his later-period works such as Om and Ascension, which push into some pretty heady blowing. As a contrast, Ballads is often criticized as too easy and as too much of a compromise between Coltrane and Impulse! (the two had just entered into the first year of label representation). Seen as an answer to critics who found his work complicated with too many notes and too thin a concept, Ballads has even been accused of being a record that Coltrane didn't want to make. These conspiracy theories (and there are more) really just get in the way of enjoying a perfectly fine album of Coltrane doing what he always did -- exploring new avenues and modes in an inexhaustible search for personal and artistic enlightenment. With Ballads he looks into the warmer side of things, a path he would take with both Johnny Hartman (on John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman) and with Duke Ellington (on Duke Ellington and John Coltrane). Here he lays out for McCoy Tyner mostly, and the results positively shimmer at times. He's not aggressive, and he's not outwardly. Instead he's introspective and at times even predictable, but that is precisely Ballads' draw.
-All Music Guide
1. Say It (Over And Over Again) 2. You Don't Know What Love Is 3. Too Young To Go Steady 4. All or Nothing At All 5. I Wish I Knew 6. What's New 7. It's Easy To Remember 8. Nancy (With THe Laughing Face) 9. Greensleeves*
180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedUsually ships in 2-4 business daysBuy Now
Archie Shepp's first major outing was recorded in August 1964 about a year before John Coltrane gathered some of these same players (Shepp and alto saxophonist John Tchicai) in the studio for the recording of Ascension, which would launch the final phase of his career. Shepp's recording was a reverential interpretation of four Coltrane compositions with one Shepp original. While it is a marvelous and insightful slice of jazz in 1964, it coheres and provides very rewarding listening now more than three decades later. Indeed its balance of out and in playing should provide a model for the new traditionalists in jazz. The arrangements for horns cast the Coltrane compositions in a new light (Roswell Rudd is a delight here on trombone). These are rich compositions played by players respectful of tradition and unafraid of creativity. --Michael Monhart
1. Syeeda's Song Flute 2. Mr. Syms 3. Cousin Mary 4. Naima 5. Rufus (Swung His Face At Last To The Wind, Then His Neck Snapped)
180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
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