Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kenny Burrell, John Coltrane|
Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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After six years...
A.Y.H. | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 05/31/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"...I've finally found a Coltrane record I don't like. But first some history.
Coltrane's vast discography includes a large number of interesting-on-paper co-led dates. As most of these took place earlier in Coltrane's career, at Prestige or Atlantic, most of the discs are tossed-off jams, or overbilled sideman exploits. Trane is rarely the focus of these dates; and almost never does he genuinely co-lead. (THE AVANT-GARDE with Don Cherry comes to mind.) It's ironic that the one date where Coltrane shared billing with a true giant (DUKE ELLINGTON & JOHN COLTRANE, 1962) was also the one that allowed Trane to most emphatically dominate the session. The result is one of the greatest records of all time.
KENNY BURRELL & JOHN COLTRANE is not one of the greatest records of all time. It's a typical Prestige postcard jam, with very little shelf life, not much original material, and the obligatory ten-minute Weinstock blues on side B. The Prestige formula was hugely predictable, and to my count it yielded exactly one masterpiece (Sonny Rollins's SAXOPHONE COLOSSUS). And even then, just barely.
KENNY BURRELL & JOHN COLTRANE is not a masterpiece - not even barely. This is a resoundingly indifferent record; besides the spellbinding cover, and three exquisite minutes of "Where Was I Born?" (Coltrane's only duet with something other than drums), there's nothing at all memorable about it. Pianist Tommy Flanagan is in surprisingly animated form, and even contributed one half-decent uptempo tune ("Freight Trane"); and drummer Jimmy Cobb of KIND OF BLUE fame actually gets the chance to rock out a little here and there. Aside from that, there are a few brief Coltrane solos in the general BLUE TRAIN mould; a great deal of Paul Chambers (ditto - often bowed); and some Burrell, who is a typically tame "cool" bop player, maybe a little bit bluesier and flintier than, say, Jim Hall, but not as musically sophisticated. (His one theme, the third track, is not very distinctive.) No-one is playing at his highest level, perhaps because of the unusually uninspired programme of themes.
Surprisingly, there's not that much Coltrane or Burrell on this brief disc, with wide swatches of empty, Flanagan-wallpapered space. Or at least that's how it seems; this album has a way of fleeing from memory almost immediately after it's through. The closing Weinstock blues, "Big Paul", inexplicably credited to Flanagan - it has no intelligible melody - is fourteen of the dullest minutes Coltrane was ever associated with, and although his solo has some kick, it doesn't really go anywhere.
Worst of all, despite Rudy Van Gelder's best efforts, the tape is in less-than-ideal shape - it's full of crackling and drop-outs, and Van Gelder seems to have compensated by boosting the levels of everything.
Avoid, at least until you've already got your first ten or fifteen Coltrane records."
In a fair world it should receive 7 stars...
Fernando Villegas | Santiago de Chile | 09/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Probably the guy that gave just one and a half star -or perhaps 2?- to this record was kidding or he suffer a severe case of deafness. WHAT??? Yes, sir. In fact this is one of the greatest records by Coltraine, specially with "Freightrane", which is the very last piece of jazz I would like to hear in my death bed if I still keep my ears sound and a rest of good taste in such an unpleasant circunstance. Coltraine blows fantastic, absolutely beatiful lines with that mathematical precision of him -high maths, in fact- as if everything he plays was as unavoidable as a law of physics or the sound of God in a jam session. Burrel, Flanagan and all the company are worthy of him and the result is, I insist, a wonderful moment in the history of jazz."