Thursday, December 17, 2009

John Coltrane - Lush Life (1958) (320)

The recording of John Coltrane's Lush Life took place in three sessions, two in 1957 and one in 1958. The first three tracks are performed in a trio setting, beginning with the ballad "Like Someone In Love". Here Trane combines a slow, smooth tone with fast melodic runs. The second number, "I Love You", opens with an exotic drum and bass rhythm. Bassist Earl May and drummer Arthur Taylor move between this rhythm for Trane's melody and straight swing for the improvisation. After the third piece, "Trane's Slo Blues", Lush Life moves in a new direction. Trane's arrangement of the Billy Strayhorn piece is much longer than the other selections on the album, and features solos from pianist Red Garland and trumpeter Donald Byrd. The rhythm section explores different ways of playing under the improvisers, sometimes with very minimal accompaniment. Lush Life is a fantastic example of Trane's mastery of straight-ahead chord changes.


1. Like Someone In Love
2. I Love You
3. Trane's Slo Blues
4. Lush Life
5. I Hear A Rhapsody


John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
On #1-3
Earl May, bass
Arthur Taylor, drums

Other selections:
Donald Byrd, trumpet (#4)
Red Garland, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Louis Hayes, drums (#4)
Albert "Tootie" Heath, drums (#5)

Supervision by Bob Weinstock
Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ on May 31 (#5) and August 16 (1-3), 1957; January 10, 1958 (4).

Mastering - Joe Tarantino (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Cover photo - Esmond Edwards

Prestige PRSA-7188-6


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