Saturday, September 23, 2017

Village Blues

Today is John Coltrane's 91st birthday. Released in 1961 on Coltrane Jazz, "Village Blues" was recorded on October 21, 1960, after Coltrane had left Miles Davis and set up his own group at the Jazz Gallery in NYC. This was the first time Elvin and Coltrane were together on record. Later that week the group recorded "My Favorite Things."

The combination of Elvin and Coltrane and McCoy created a new sound. Coltrane was studying Spirituals, Elvin was developing his strong triplet feel, and McCoy pursued a comping style comprised of fourths and fifths instead of thirds. Coltrane was controlling the bass lines by using ostinatos, repeating patterns that evoked a trance in the listener. The sound entranced me.

Elvin idolized the deep swing of Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson, the drummer Coltrane played with in Thelonious Monk's group during 1957 at the Five Spot and the Voice of America concert at Carnegie Hall. Wilson died in 1959 of a heroin overdose.

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