Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Africa Brass Vol 1 & 2 Sessions
In 1961 John Coltrane's explorations of different modes and rhythms led to several powerful works that invoked other cultures, like "Olé," "India," and "Brazilia." While those pieces were all recorded with expanded version... more »
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In 1961 John Coltrane's explorations of different modes and rhythms led to several powerful works that invoked other cultures, like "Olé," "India," and "Brazilia." While those pieces were all recorded with expanded versions of his quartet, "Africa" was a unique opportunity, with Eric Dolphy's arrangements for up to 13 brass and reed instruments providing a setting of volcanic energy for Coltrane's majestic, declamatory tenor and the surging drumming of Elvin Jones. The orchestrations, as well as the solos, vary on the two sessions heard here, and there are also thoughtful adaptations of traditional material like "Greensleeves," a lilting feature for Coltrane's soprano saxophone that recalls the earlier treatment of "My Favorite Things," and "Song of the Underground Railroad." The two-CD complete collection expands on the original release with alternate takes of "Africa" and "Greensleeves" as well as a previously unissued recording of "The Damned Don't Cry." --Stuart Broomer
The Horn Of Africa
El Lagarto | Sandown, NH | 04/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a lot of mischief in the world of CD production. When content doesn't match available time, sometimes suppliers make up the difference with "filler" of questionable merit. While some alternate takes are interesting, others didn't make the first release because frankly they weren't as good as the one that did. The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions is a shining exception to this trend.
I was first drawn to it because I simply had to have Song Of The Underground Railroad, one of my absolute favorite John Coltrane selections. Not only is the melody incredibly infectious, it races with urgency and power until the title resonates in your heartbeat. Greensleeves, candidly, is not my cup of tea; it never lifted off the ground like Favorite Things for me. But Africa, now this is a different story. I consider Africa to be one of Coltrane's major compositions, very ambitious, very grand, and brilliantly realized. The scope of the piece is on a scale with its subject, and just look at the players. When you've got Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Trane, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones on your team, (among others); with Dolphy writing the charts, you have what is known as "an embarrassment of riches".
This is why it's so great that three different takes are included. To have three very different interpretations of Africa offers new ways of appreciating this extraordinary accomplishment, adding richness and texture to what was already incredibly layered and complex. As is so often the case with Impulse!, lovely packaging and an excellent booklet. This is the horn of plenty, Dolphy paints the background and Coltrane simply soars above the landscape. Worth getting and listening to over and over."
Another coltrane must have.
fluffy, the human being. | forest lake, mn | 03/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"john coltrane's discography is vast. and that's a wonderful thing. he is indisputably one the all-time jazz greats. you should definitely get lots and lots of his music to have a great life. this album is yet another of his splendid artistic achievements. the original vinyl record was a single release. here you get additional material that makes for more of a fine thing, and 2 cds. the whole affair kicks off with a mid-tempo take on the classic tune "greensleeves," with coltrane's sax and mccoy tyner's piano bending the familiar melody into lovely new shapes. "song of the underground railroad," is a great track with a strong rythmic drive provided by the drums of elvin jones and the bass of reggie workman. "the damned don't cry" is an elegant piece of jazz with orchestra and french horn adding textures on top of coltrane and tyner's playing. there are three takes of "africa" here, which if fine by me. i love listening to these musicians work this great piece upside-down and back & forth & sideways & into 5th & 6th dimensions. "africa" has coltrane's strongest sax playing on the album, and a wonderful mid-tempo rythmic section at work. "blues minor" also has powerful sax playing by the master, very precise and fine. can't get enough john coltrane. this is a jazz classic."
Embarrassed I Waited So Long
Talking Wall | Queen Creek, AZ | 01/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a jazz musician and a certifiable jazz junkie. I've been listening to Trane since 1976. I've heard excerpts from Africa Brass but only just now heard the complete sessions from start to finish. Frankly, I'm embarrassed to have waited so long. Trane's work with Dolphy has always been my favorite period, Dolphy created all the charts for this session - a sort of Gil Evans but he's so much earthier. The alternate take of Africa with the trombone(s) playing sounds that sound like they are right out of the jungle... Any Coltrane fan MUST have this collection. An instant favorite in my Coltrane catalog."