Artist: John Coltrane
Album: Trane 90
Release Date: 12/09/16
Imagining Trane blowing free across global stages like so many of rock’s vulgar, I mean elder, statesmen (no, sorry, $300 a ticket is vulgar) is a fine, fine jazz fantasy. But what, at 90, would this visionary of sax and spirit say of America today? He’d urge us to bring the people’s voice to power by blowing fierce through “Africa” and “Impressions.” He’d bring the love so sorely needed in this lost, bruised nation with “Naima” and “Dear Old Stockholm.” He’d bring the swing and the blues so we could, if even for the length of a jam, dance to distraction to “Moment’s Notice,” “West 42nd Street,” “Blues To Bechet,” and “Bags & Trane.” He’d bring us to the realization that we can work together to creat beauty, as he did so timelessly with Miles, Monk, Dizzy, Evans, Cannonball, Red Garland, Eric Dolphy, Philly Joe, Elvin, McCoy, Reggie, et al.
Three of the four discs in this illuminating anthology offer up 27 well-documented tracks. Disc four traces his live evolution with radio broadcasts and private tapes of sizzling performances circa Birdland ’51 with Dizzy’s hot septet (Blakey, JJ Johnson, Percy Heath, Milt Jackson, Billy Taylor) through to ’62 with the classic quartet (Jones, Tyner, Garrison.)