Stellar indeed... for the most part, anyway...
finulanu | Here, there, and everywhere | 11/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of Coltrane's very last recordings - the group here is without Pharaoh Sanders, made up of Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Rashied Ali drumming. Pharaoh's exit adds a lot more restraint to the proceedings: in fact, there's virtually know insane honking - other than on "Configuration", which is pure chaos but still sounds excellent, mostly because of the drum solo. So those who thought Sanders ruined Coltrane's career might find they quite enjoy this. The music mostly has an almost reverent, mystical quality, even when he's just blowing like crazy, as on "Sun Star", which reaches a level of near religious fury. ("Sun Star" is, by the way, one of the man's greatest songs, and not just because of Trane - listen to the drums and piano!) You'll also note that the songs have been shortened considerably: the longest ("Seraphic Light", an amazing song with a minimal theme) is nine minutes, and the shortest (the title song) is three. Now I don't feel that everything on this album is as good as "Sun Star", "Seraphic Light", "Configuration" or the title song; "Offering" (also included on Expression) recycles the "A Love Supreme" opening and then launches into absolute meaninglessness, "Iris" is a middling piece of music, and as much as I like Jimmy Garrison his lengthy bass solo ("Jimmy's Mode") is barely audible and not terribly enlightening. Regardless of that, Stellar Regions is an often fascinating look at Coltrane's later music."
Thank you John
Jahay | San Diego, CA United States | 12/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Coltrane is crying through his saxophone on this album and sometimes it is that new born cry, your alive, you have arrived and all you do is cry -life is indeed beautiful but to deny it's painfulness, Mr. Coltrane wouldn't do that to us. He embraces these raw unspoken thoughts visualizations emotions observations that enhances a connectedness with my species -a sense of fate and hope and deep currents of uncertainty of eternity and restlessness. I feel the insecurity and the music holds us together closer and more naked than we would like. I can hear a primordial echo of my humanity in his vocalization, this album haunted me and yet inspired because after all I feel a deep sense of being with my fellow humans. The music on this album is simply mystical. I can not name it beyond that,because what I approach -when I lay down relaxed and meditate on this music, is not describable. To approach that which can not be. Was John struggling with his last days here? I thank him for this door that he opened. I shall always be grateful and return to it."