Sunday, July 27, 2014


John Coltrane found tension and release in the spiritual dynamic creativity of this deep and brooding arc of emotion.  Riding high on the triumph of  'Live at Birdland',  the quartet of John Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner went into Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to lay down the first set of tracks in April of 1964 and then again in June to record 'Crescent'.  For the sessions, Coltrane sticks to tenor saxophone, with Tyner on piano, Garrison on double bass, and Jones on drums.  Produced by Bob Thiele and mixed by Van Gelder, the album shows Coltrane playing with Latin and African rhythms within the context of these mostly meditative pieces.  

Nat Hentoff would express in the liner notes:  "In all the writing-much of it bewilderedly contentious-about John Coltrane, his diversity of moods and the scope of his emotional range have often been overlooked. There are many Coltranes because, as he once pointed out, “an artist of ability may lead you down paths in music where many things can happen.” In addition, for example, to the fiercely searching, turbulently complicated Coltrane, there is the soloist writer who focuses on reflective order, distilling his emotions into carefully shaped structures.    In everything he does, Coltrane is fundamentally a lyrical musician. Ornette Coleman recently said that Coltrane “is the most lyrical player I ever heard.” And it is disciplined lyricism which pervades much of this album. The opening Crescent, for instance, begins with a contemplative theme which Coltrane then elaborates and intensifies, but throughout there is the sense of his authoritative command of his material as well as his horn."!/album/Crescent/283318

full album:

Side one
"Crescent" – 8:41
"Wise One" – 9:00
"Bessie's Blues" – 3:22

Side two
"Lonnie's Lament" – 11:45
"The Drum Thing" – 7:22

"Song of Praise" was also recorded during the sessions

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