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Non-Prog CD Reviews

John Coltrane

My Favorite Things

Review by Gary Hill

John Coltrane is a jazz legend. This album shows why. There are only four tracks here, but three of them are epic length and all of them deliver some of what makes jazz great. You just can’t go wrong with this album, and I highly recommend it to all jazz fans, or those looking for an introduction to jazz. It’s an incredible disc. I'd go so far as to say that if you own only one jazz album, it should be this one.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
My Favorite Things

This might well be my favorite jazz track of all time. Sure, you’ve got a great melody to begin, but Coltrane and company take this out into one of the coolest musical explorations. It’s really easy to see how this kind of music influenced both jam band and progressive rock music. Over thirteen minutes in length, this is full of melodies, reprises and variations. Everyone shines and this is recommended to anyone as a first glimpse of what jazz is really about. I think I especially like the piano on the track.  Of course, that’s not to disregard the other performances; it’s just the one that resonates the best with me. You just can’t get much better than this.

Everytime We Say Goodbye
Coltrane’s horn is the instrument that shines the brightest on this balladic number. That said, there is some pretty piano work here, too. It’s a tasty piece of music, and while quite strong, just not the powerhouse that the opener is. At less than six minutes in length, it’s the shortest piece on show here.
Summertime
If you want a fast paced jam with Coltrane soloing like crazy, look no further. This is another killer. It’s highly recommended and nearly as powerful as the title track. It’s a bit more experimental. We get a bass solo on this piece and a drum solo, as well.     
But Not For Me
This is another powerhouse jazz jam. It’s perhaps not as potent as the opener, but it’s still a real fiery number. It’s a winner anyway you slice it, and a great way to end the set.
 
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