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Africa/Brass

The John Coltrane Quartet

Africa/Brass

...startling experimentation
UNI044 (IMS)
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Tracks: Listen and Download

Track Time Listen
1
Africa

Africa

Composer John Coltrane
Conductor Eric Dolphy
Band John Coltrane Quartet
16:27 Play
2
Greensleeves

Greensleeves

Composer

Traditional

Conductor Eric Dolphy
Band John Coltrane Quartet
09:58 Play
3
Blues Minor

Blues Minor

Composer John Coltrane
Conductor Eric Dolphy
Band John Coltrane Quartet
07:22 Play
Total Running Time 34 minutes
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Africa/Brass marked the beginning of a period of deep introspection and startling experimentation. Coltrane moved to a larger group set-up for this release whilst retaining the intimacy of the quartet sound.

This album is licensed for download from IMS.

Download includes - cover art
John Coltrane

John Coltrane

John Coltrane (1926-67) was the most relentlessly exploratory musician in jazz history. He was always searching, seeking to take his music further in what he quite consciously viewed as a spiritual quest.
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The John Coltrane Quartet

The John Coltrane Quartet

The New York-based John Coltrane Quartet's original lineup included John Coltrane on tenor and soprano sax, McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Steve Davis on bass. The most famous line-up, however, was Coltrane/Tyner/Garrison/Jones.
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It's perhaps no surprise that John Coltrane wanted to do something different upon moving to the Impulse label after a long association with Atlantic. It is no surprise, either, that it might be a recording with a larger aggregate behind him. That was, and is, the style of the day when jazzers seek to get out of the box a bit. Leave it to Coltrane to turn all of that on its ear with 'Africa/Brass', a 1961 release that, because of its orchestration, is at once rumbling and mellow, rather than swinging and bright.

Coltrane hand picked a back-up group that featured only trumpets, trombones, French horns, tuba and euphoniums. We hear an expected, by then, take on a waltz standard in 'Greensleeves', something few would question after the artistic and commercial successes of Coltrane's blockbuster 'My Favorite Things' in 1960. The difference is drummer Elvin Jones, who was becoming ever more confident in the polyrhythms that would dominate jazz in the decade to come.

More interesting was the chant-like, almost religious beauty of 'Africa'. This set's centerpiece and the launching pad for Coltrane's move away from swing conventions into drones as a compositional foundation. Likewise, 'Blues Minor', worked out in a style that fits well with the stirring creativity now associated with this group, broods and swings with equal power.

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