Tuesday, March 8, 2011

John Coltrane - Cosmic Music (1967, Coltrane Records)

If you're a die hard Trane fan, this is a must have. Unfortunately, its been out of print for many years so its usually the album that heads haven't heard. Its a very important record because its the first session with the new line-up. McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones had departed due to differences in creative vision and Trane was now joined by his wife, Alice, Rashied Ali, Pharoah Sanders and long-time bassist Jimmy Garrison.

This is possibly the most deeply spiritual album this very spiritual man ever recorded. Love and praise for the universe seemed to flow from his horns like it never had before. His obsession with polyrhythmic drumming had reached new heights and the interplay between dual drummers (Ali was joined by Roy Appleton on this session) freed him to explore the furthest possibilities of sound. The pairing of the Coltranes feels like utter unity and was easily one of the greatest musical connections of all time.

Clocking in at just over 22 minutes, the two tracks 'Manifestations' and 'Reverend King' are fine examples of the immensely focused and dedicated vision this colective had. There are points where the group is so cohesive that it seems they actually do break through to inner space.

Another beautiful aspect of this is the bass clarinet played by Trane on 'Reverend King'. Its comparable to Eric Dolphy's stirring solo version of 'God Bless the Child'.

This is holy material, if you buy into that sort of thing. Music is my salvation and this is praise and worship for me. These forgotten gems truly are cosmic music.

Get Blessed

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