Recent listening, current

Thursday, February 14, 2013

34. Milt Jackson & John Coltrane / Bags and Trane (1961)

Released after My Favorite Things, Giant Steps, and Coltrane Jazz, this collaboration was recorded in 1959, and was actually the first album to be recorded by Coltrane on his new contract with Atlantic. It was sensible to wait until '61 to release it. Because while it's very good music, blues and standards by a quintet, and the exchange of ideas between Trane and Bags during improvisations makes it a few cuts above what it could be, given their prior associations, this album doesn't make the same splash. He wasn't their guy anymore, so you could view it as a safe play for Atlantic while Coltrane was en route to Impulse. I don't understand why Atlantic altered the sequence of the original LP when they released the CD, but they did. In this case, I don't think it matters. The Bags-penned blues numbers like "Late Late Blues" and "Blues Legacy" are my favorites. It seems that no matter where they were in the music, the blues were never very far behind either player, and that's a good thing. 

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