Saturday, November 6, 2010

John Coltrane - The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording (1967)

This posthumous release, recorded at the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem, emphasizes the direction Coltrane was heading at the end of his career. The ensemble had expanded in numbers, adding another horn with Pharoah Sanders. McCoy had left the group and was replaced by Coltrane's wife Alice on piano, and Rashied Ali sat in place of Elvin Jones. Only Jimmy Garrison remained as the veteran from the A Love Supreme days. Trane was known to use two bass players as well, usually enlisting Art Davis, but Jimmy holds it down here solo. I think the two pieces selected are great contrast - "Ogunde", one of Coltrane's last compositions, and "My Favorite Things", his biggest commercial hit and probably most played tune. Of course Coltrane's style had changed immensely since his 1961 version of the tune. By the end of his career, a show would consist only of two or three selections, each running for about half an hour, maybe playing the head once or twice. He was finished with exploring scales and harmonic structure and was now probing the depths of the instrument (multiphonics). The sounds, tone and power of his playing are indescribable, it feels almost useless to try and write anything. Please listen, and comment if you dig this.

1. Introduction by Billy Taylor
2. Ogunde
3. My Favorite Things


John Coltrane, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone
Alice Coltrane, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Rashied Ali, drums
Algie DeWitt, Batá drum
(possibly) Jumma Santos, percussion

Recorded April 1967 in New York City

Impulse! 314 589 120-2


1 comment:

  1. one of the greatest live recordings by any artist in any genre EVER imho ... thnx for the GREAT share !!!