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Karen Dallas H. (kikkilu) from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 9/10/2009...
One time I went to the symphony for a tribute to this great artist, John Coltrane. I walked out of it with a headache because the only music of his that they were playing was that of his later years--non melodic, boring, and abstract music ala his album called "Africa."
This album is nothing at all like that type of his music. This album is where he does his best at melody and beat. I give this album 5 stars--it's great sax! It's what Coltrane did best.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Coltrane at the top of his game
Arsophagus Wu | Tlon | 09/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most of these Prestige titles are blowing sessions, albeit pretty damn good blowing sessions as the jazz artists are talented live performers and these albums are nothing but little snippets of live performances. Generally, these cds by Miles Davis, Red Garland or John Coltrane give you that after-hours, dark, smoky nightclub feel. They're great to just toss on, and chill out because you not only feel like you're there, but also there really are some stellar performances as well. Lush Life was one of those albums John Coltrane recorded sometime between his stint with Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis in the late 1950's. This is Coltrane at the top of his game during his fabled "sheets of sound" era, but also perhaps some of his most restrained. The first three tunes are piano-less ("the piano player didn't show up") reworkings of old classics ("Like Someone in Love," "I Love You") and an original ("Trane's Slo Blues"). The absence of the piano though, allows Coltrane to really dig deep, especially the Latino reworking of "I Love You." The last two tracks come from a later session in which the piano player did show up, and they are joined by a young Donald Byrd on trumpet. While the first three tracks previously mentioned are worth the price of admission, the band's rendition of Billy Strayhorn's classic Lush Life is literally awesome. Coltrane would later record this with vocalist, Johnny Hartman, but here his playing is strong and hard, and Byrd's solo, almost an afterthought adds to the excitement. If you're new to jazz, or new to John Coltrane, this is an excellent album to start off with. I believe however, that Lush Life is the cornerstone to any jazz collection. First, Coltrane rarely recorded without a piano player and it's fascinating to hear him in this context. Second and most important, this is simply one of his best performances on record during the 50's. Essential."
A good look at a speeding Trane...
douglasnegley | Pittsburgh, Pa. United States | 09/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Considered one of Coltrane's 'searching' periods, this CD has a lot to offer in the way of understanding Trane's restless nature. Never one to stand on laurels, Coltrane does indeed continue to set the bar 'higher' every time out. This one is mostly ballad and blues based, with the exeption of 2 tracks in particular which stand out - on both ends of the Trane spectrum. Track #2, "I Love You" finds him playing furious, cerebral runs on the instrument, and , frankly, not as 'listenable' as one may like; whereas the track with Donald Byrd is as 'in the pocket' as you'll ever hear. All in all, a very realistic look at a genius in motion."