Happy Birthday, Trane!
John Coltrane, September 23, 1926-July 17, 1967
“Naima,” live (with McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass, Elvin Jones, drums), Europe, 1965
#1 (7/27/1965, Antibes, France)
#2 (4/1/1965, Comblain-La-Tour, Belgium)
[Coltrane’s sound is] [b]ig, resonant, and it begins at a very high level. He comes to the microphone and delivers a big block of sound rather than doing the normal sort of bell-shape that the best soloists tend to do, where they start out small, then they get big, then they get small and elegant.
Physical descriptions of his sound, especially from my own mouth, always sound meager, because the whole thing about his sound—and the reason I keep using that word in the book—has to do with the fact that if you follow his career, and if you look at what he was doing at the end of his life, you hear these tracks that seemed more and more similar from one to the next, so in the end the message of his work was not so much about composition or structure any more, it was about sound—both the sound coming out of his individual instrument, and the sound coming out of his band.
thinking about time
The distance between today and 1965—the year of these performances (yesterday’s, too)—is like that between 1965 and 1920.
Today it’s all Trane all the time on WKCR-FM.