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JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET – Crescent
LP – Vinyl (Gatefold Sleeve)
Sandwiched between two of the John Coltrane quartet’s greatest masterpieces – ‘Live At Birdland’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ – ‘crescent’ is often forgotten. but this album of four ballads and one blues is full of understated beauty. ‘crescent’, ‘the wise one’ and ‘lonnie’s lament’ are three of the Coltrane’s most beautiful compositions; these are some of the first ballads in the later Coltrane style, with the saxophone playing the theme in free time over the rumbling rhythm section. (there’s a great 50 minute performance of ‘crescent’ on live in japan, but that’s not for everyone.) the mood on this recording is similar to that on ballads but Coltrane cuts loose a bit more. his playing can get intense at times, but it doesn’t have the shrieks and screams which pop up on a love supreme and later albums. ‘the drum thing’ is basically an excellent Elvin Jones solo, with Jimmy Garrison’s bass providing forward motion and Trane’s saxophone wrapping around the rhythm section. if you liked ‘a love supreme’, this is an excellent choice for your next Coltrane album. it comes housed in a lovely gatefold sleeve.
CAT NO: aaimp200