Recent listening, current

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

70. John Coltrane / Crescent (1964)

I love this album because it is so moody. Only during "Bessie's Blues" does he lighten up, although not for very long. I guess it's fitting that it comes from a different session. Jones sounds like rain to me, even when using sticks. He shuffles, clicks, clacks, swooshes, and bangs, just like a thunderstorm. It's the perfect accompaniment to Coltrane's moody tenor, and rhythmically speaking, gives him a long leash. Tyner contributes in a similar fashion, creating a colorful backdrop of notes that sound very much like the sheets of rain in a storm. The last track is pretty much all Jones, called "The Drum Thing." Contrasting with Trane's more exploratory work, these performances are almost rigidly disciplined. He doesn't abandon what he learned in the intervening years, he just applies it differently. The result is a more mature formulation of the post-bop he was doing during for Prestige, richly imagined and deeply reverent of its roots. It's something of a calm before the storm in the Coltrane canon, considering that the next year witnessed A Love Supreme and the year after, Ascension.

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