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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label John Coltrane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Coltrane. Show all posts

Saturday, April 13, 2013

John Coltrane w/ Wynton Kelly

John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb Wynton Charles Kelly (December 2, 1931 – April 12, 1971) was a Jamaican American jazz pianist.[1][2] He is perhaps best known for working with trumpeter Miles Davis from 1959 to 1962 The son of Jamaican immigrants, Kelly was born in Brooklyn, New York. He started his professional career in 1943, before his teens, initially as a member of R&B groups. Around this time he also played organ in local churches.[4] R&B bands that he played with up to 1951 included those led by Ray Abrams, Hot Lips Page, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Kelly became better known after joining Dinah Washington's band in 1951, going on to record 14 titles for Blue Note in his trio in the same year. After this he played with bands led by Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie, recording with the latter in 1952. Kelly was drafted into the army in September 1952, and stayed for two years, ending that period with a music performance for an audience of 10,000 in the Chastain Memorial Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia. After leaving the military, Kelly worked with Washington again (1955–1957), Charles Mingus (1956–1957), and the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band (1957), before leaving Gillespie and forming his own trio, which then recorded the second album under Kelly's name, more than six years after the first. He would, however, be most famous for his stint with Miles Davis from 1959 to 1963, recording such albums with him as Kind of Blue, At the Blackhawk, and Someday My Prince Will Come. On 1959's Kind of Blue, Kelly replaced Bill Evans on the track "Freddie Freeloader". Kelly likewise appeared on a single track from John Coltrane's Giant Steps, replacing Tommy Flanagan on "Naima". When he left Davis, Kelly took the rest of the rhythm section (bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb) with him to form his trio. This trio also joined Wes Montgomery, appearing on three of the guitarist's albums. Kelly recorded as a leader for Blue Note, Riverside Records, Vee-Jay, Verve, and Milestone. Kelly had a daughter, Tracy, in 1963, with partner Anne. The track "Little Tracy", on the LP Comin' in the Back Door, is named after Kelly's daughter. Tracy Matisak is a now a Philadelphia television personality. Kelly's second cousin, bassist Marcus Miller, also performed with Miles Davis in the 1980s and 1990s. Other cousins are pianist Randy Weston and rapper Foxy Brown. Kelly died in Toronto, Canada, from an epileptic seizure, on April 12, 1971. He had travelled there from New York to play in a club with drummer George Reed and vocalist Herb Marshall. Kelly had a longstanding epilepsy problem, and had to monitor his condition to avoid the danger of swallowing his tongue or dentures during a seizure. An account of his death was given by his friend, Jimmy Cobb: "Wynton called his girlfriend in New York and said, 'You know, I don't feel good.' She said, 'Why don't you go downstairs to the bar and if something happens somebody could tend to you.' We don't know if he did that, because when they found him he was in the room." Kelly was found in his room in the Westminster Hotel on Jarvis Street by Herb Marshall. He was reported to have had almost no money at the time of his death. A memorial concert was held on June 28 in New York and featured numerous well-known musicians of the period  

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Naima - John Coltrane

Merely mention the name John Coltrane and you’re likely to evoke a deeply emotional, often spiritual response from even the most casual jazz fan.

Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane was always surrounded by music. His father played several instruments sparking Coltrane’s study of E-flat horn and clarinet. While in high school, Coltrane’s musical influences shifted to the likes of Lester Young and Johnny Hodges prompting him to switch to alto saxophone. He continued his musical training in Philadelphia at Granoff Studios and the Ornstein School of Music. He was called to military service during WWII, where he performed in the U.S. Navy Band in Hawaii.

After the war, Coltrane began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie "CleanHead" Vinson Band, and was later quoted as saying, "A wider area of listening opened up for me. There were many things that people like Hawk, and Ben and Tab Smith were doing in the ‘40’s that I didn’t understand, but that I felt emotionally." Prior to joining the Dizzy Gillespie band, Coltrane performed with Jimmy Heath where his passion for experimentation began to take shape. However, it was his work with the Miles Davis Quintet in 1958 that would lead to his own musical evolution. " Miles music gave me plenty of freedom," he once said. During that period, he became known for using the three-on-one chord approach, and what has been called the ‘sheets of sound,’ a method of playing multiple notes at one time.

By 1960 Coltrane had formed his own quartet which included pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Eventually adding players like Eric Dolphy, and Pharoah Sanders. The John Coltrane Quartet created some of the most innovative and expressive music in Jazz history including the hit albums: "My Favorite Things," "Africa Brass," " Impressions," " Giant Steps," and his monumental work "A Love Supreme" which attests to the power, glory, love, and greatness of God. Coltrane felt we must all make a conscious effort to effect positive change in the world, and that his music was an instrument to create positive thought patterns in the minds of people.

In 1967, liver disease took Coltrane’s life leaving many to wonder what might have been. Yet decades after his departure his music can be heard in motion pictures, on television and radio. Recent film projects that have made references to Coltrane’s artistry in dialogue or musical compositions include, "Mr. Holland’s Opus", "The General’s Daughter", "Malcolm X", "Mo Better Blues", "Jerry McGuire", "White Night", "The Last Graduation", "Come Unto Thee", "Eyes On The Prize II" and "Four Little Girls". Also, popular television series such as "NYPD Blue", "The Cosby Show", "Day’s Of Our Lives", "Crime Stories" and "ER", have also relied on the beautiful melodies of this distinguished saxophonist.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Concord Music Group has released: The Very Best Of The Miles Davis Quintet - New Release Review

It's curious to listen to this recording of the incredible Miles Davis with John Coltrane and Red Garland and just let the music sink in. To think of how fresh most of it sounds and clean and uncommercial it really is. This quintet really set the bar for what was to come of one of the branches of the original blues. Containing 10 tracks, this recording touches on a number of different approaches that Miles and company were exploring. The opening track, Ellington's Just Squeeze Me, is one cool groove where Davis explores different melodic phases on a basic theme... keeping it simple and in my mind thereby really leading the pack. This song hits on the essence of what made Miles so great and he Garland and Coltrane play it beautifully. Another extremely strong track is Thelonious Monks 'Round Midnight. Miles had such a deep understanding and feeling of just exactly when to play and when to leave air. My Funny Valentine is another such track with Miles leading the way but give plenty of room for Garland and Coltrane to express. Unlike later Davis performances where bass players had a predominant role and even lead lines, Chambers plays beautifully articulated bass lines under the melody. Another track, You're My Everything again emphasizes the Quintet's control of of a basic melodic line and the multiple themes on a basic concept.

This is a nice early slice of Miles from the 50's and his ability to attract the absolute best talent throughout his career.
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