terça-feira, 23 de março de 2010

John Coltrane - First Meditations (1965)

A studio precursor to the collective improvisations of Meditations, this suite, recorded a month before Live in Seatle, represents the final shining examples of the interplay, sensitivity and excitement of the John Coltrane Quartet. On Meditations, Trane would add drummer Rashied Ali and tenor saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders to the mix, creating a sonic vortex that represented powerful new directions. Soon after, both Tyner and Jones felt it was time to move on.
Unlike the cosmic explorations of Sun Ship, First Meditations displays the serene side of Coltrane's spiritual quest--the reflection and outreach of A Love Supreme. The sweet trills of "Love" present Trane's tenor in an angelic light, as Garrison and Jones' shifting drone leads to a chanting Tyner epic. Likewise, "Compassion" proceeds from the gentle three against four rhythm of a Jones/Garrison stroll. Trane maintains his lyric focus throughout his dense repeated figures, before the sand-blasted overtones atop the curve of his phrase finally taunt Jones into visceral retorts. On "Serenity", over Garrison's arco bass and Jones' muted thunder, Trane essays one of his most heartbreakingly beautiful melodies, as Tyner's oceanic gyrations emphasize the oriental, prayer-like nature of the mood.
Yet "Consequences" proceeds with Old Testament fury. Jones' drum overture and Garrison's folk-like strums set the stage for Trane and Tyner's rhythmic abstracts, as the band surges into an almighty torrent of sound and fury. "Joy" begins with splintered figures over the moaning rolls and groans of drummer Jones, as Garrison and Tyner hint at a groove, and Trane's short phrases glower with intensity. Tyner levitates into billowing 3/4 polyrhythms with enormous, two-handed accents and tart celestial voicings. Then Trane returns, speaking in tongues, alternating ascents into the altissimo register with descents into the growling bottom of his horn.


01 - Love (08:04)
02 - Compassion (09:30)
03 - Joy (08:49)
04 - Consequences (07:21)
05 - Serenity (06:10)
06 - Joy [Alternate Version] (12:14)

Line Up:
John Coltrane - tenor saxophone, band leader
Jimmy Garrison - double bass
Elvin Jones - drums
McCoy Tyner - piano

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