AAHHH! John Coltrane: Afro Blue Impressions

Here’s how a reissue is supposed to be done. Formed back in 1973 as a vehicle for purely improvised “mainstream” music, Pablo records had a good run of it. This would be the 50th anniversary of the label that brought classics by Joe Pass, Louis Bellson, and…

John Coltrane! This 1963 concert was part of the foresight of founder Norman Granz who recorded everything and everyone he could and stockpiled it until  the music was ready to be heard. This 2 disc set originally came out as a 2 lp set in 1977; we’ve got 3 bonus tracks and a remastering by Joe Tarantino that deserves a Christmas cake from everyone who hears it once the holidays come around.

This is vintage Coltrane, with his classic quartet of McCoy Tyner/p, Jimmy Garrison/g and Elvin Jones/dr capturd at concerts in Stockholm and Berlin and everyone sounds excited about being on stage. Coltrane is passionate without being extra terrestrial, delivering some wonderful ballads such as “ Naima” and “Lonnie’s Lament.” His tone is uncommonly focused here, and when he bears down on “Spiritual” and a surprisingly truncated “Chasin’ The Trane” he grabs your attention, while on he sounds majesterial on soprano during “Afro Blue” and “My Favorite Things.” Jones gets a bit exuberant on “I Want To Talk About You” but makes it work, while Tyner flows like a Class IV rapid in Tennesse on “My Favorite Things.” Can’t think of a better concert by this team-GO FOR IT!!!

Pablo Records


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