Lush Life (2016 Remaster) John Coltrane & Thelonious Monk
Label: Concord Records
Subgenre: Hard Bop
Artist: John Coltrane & Thelonious Monk
Composer: Jimmy Van Heusen [Non-Classical Composer], Johnny Burke, Cole Porter, John Coltrane, Billy Strayhorn, George Fragos, Jack Baker, Dick Gasparre
Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)
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- 1Like Someone In Love05:04
- 2I Love You Honey05:35
- 3Trane's Slo Blues06:09
- 4Lush Life14:03
- 5I Hear A Rhapsody06:04
Info for Lush Life (2016 Remaster)
„Lush Life (1958) is among John Coltrane's best endeavors on the Prestige label. One reason can easily be attributed to the interesting personnel and the subsequent lack of a keyboard player for the August 16, 1957 session that yielded the majority of the material. Coltrane (tenor sax) had to essentially lead the compact trio of himself, Earl May (bass), and Art Taylor (drums). The intimate setting is perfect for ballads such as the opener "Like Someone in Love." Coltrane doesn't have to supplement the frequent redundancy inherent in pianists, so he has plenty of room to express himself through simple and ornate passages. Unifying the slippery syncopation and slightly Eastern feel of "I Love You" is the tenor's prevalent capacity for flawless, if not downright inspired on-the-spot "head" arrangements that emerge singular and clear, never sounding preconceived. Even at an accelerated pace, the rhythm section ably prods the backbeat without interfering. A careful comparison will reveal that "Trane's Slo Blues" is actually a fairly evident derivation (or possibly a different take) of "Slowtrane." But don't let the title fool you as the mid-tempo blues is undergirded by a lightheartedness. May provides a platform for Coltrane's even keeled runs before the tenor drops out, allowing both May and then Taylor a chance to shine. The fun cat-and-mouse-like antics continue as Taylor can be heard encouraging the tenor player to raise the stakes and the tempo -- which he does to great effect.
The practically quarter-hour reading of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" is not only the focal point of this album, it is rightfully considered as one of Coltrane's unqualified masterworks. The performance hails from January 10, 1958 as Coltrane sits in with Red Garland (piano), Donald Byrd (trumpet), Paul Chambers (bass), and Louis Hayes (drums). Coltrane handles the tune's delicate complexities with infinite style and finesse. Garland similarly sparkles at the 88s, while Byrd's solo offers a bit of a tonal alternative. It should be noted that the reading here does not include a vocal from Johnny Hartman. That version can be found on the ever imaginatively monikered John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (1963).“ (Lindsay Planer, AMG)
On tracks 1-3:
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Earl May, bass
Art Taylor, drums
On tracks 4-5:
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Red Garland, piano
Paul Chambers, bass
Donald Byrd, trumpet (track 4)
Louis Hayes, drums (track 4)
Albert Heath, drums (track 5)
Recorded May 31, 1957 (track #5), August 16, 1957 (tracks #1-3) and January 10, 1958 (track #4) at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack
Produced by Bob Weinstock
Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, John Coltrane was always surrounded by music. His father played several instruments sparking Coltrane’s study of E-flat horn and clarinet. While in high school, Coltrane’s musical influences shifted to the likes of Lester Young and Johnny Hodges prompting him to switch to alto saxophone. He continued his musical training in Philadelphia at Granoff Studios and the Ornstein School of Music. He was called to military service during WWII, where he performed in the U.S. Navy Band in Hawaii.
After the war, Coltrane began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie 'CleanHead' Vinson Band, and was later quoted as saying, 'A wider area of listening opened up for me. There were many things that people like Hawk, and Ben and Tab Smith were doing in the ‘40’s that I didn’t understand, but that I felt emotionally.' Prior to joining the Dizzy Gillespie band, Coltrane performed with Jimmy Heath where his passion for experimentation began to take shape. However, it was his work with the Miles Davis Quintet in 1958 that would lead to his own musical evolution. ' Miles music gave me plenty of freedom,' he once said. During that period, he became known for using the three-on-one chord approach, and what has been called the ‘sheets of sound,’ a method of playing multiple notes at one time.
By 1960 Coltrane had formed his own quartet which included pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Eventually adding players like Eric Dolphy, and Pharoah Sanders. The John Coltrane Quartet created some of the most innovative and expressive music in Jazz history including the hit albums: 'My Favorite Things,' 'Africa Brass,' ' Impressions,' ' Giant Steps,' and his monumental work 'A Love Supreme' which attests to the power, glory, love, and greatness of God. Coltrane felt we must all make a conscious effort to effect positive change in the world, and that his music was an instrument to create positive thought patterns in the minds of people.
In 1967, liver disease took Coltrane’s life leaving many to wonder what might have been. Yet decades after his departure his music can be heard in motion pictures, on television and radio. Recent film projects that have made references to Coltrane’s artistry in dialogue or musical compositions include, 'Mr. Holland’s Opus', 'The General’s Daughter', 'Malcolm X', 'Mo Better Blues', 'Jerry McGuire', 'White Night', 'The Last Graduation', 'Come Unto Thee', 'Eyes On The Prize II' and 'Four Little Girls'. Also, popular television series such as 'NYPD Blue', 'The Cosby Show', 'Day’s Of Our Lives', 'Crime Stories' and 'ER', have also relied on the beautiful melodies of this distinguished saxophonist.
In 1972, 'A Love Supreme' was certified gold by the RIAA for exceeding 500,000 units in Japan. This jazz classic and the classic album 'My Favorite Things' were certified gold in the United States in 2001.
In 1982, the RIAA posthumously awarded John Coltrane a Grammy Award of ' Best Jazz Solo Performance' for the work on his album, 'Bye Bye Blackbird'. In 1997 he received the organizations highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
On June 18, 1993 Mrs. Alice Coltrane received an invitation to The White House from former President and Mrs. Clinton, in appreciation of John Coltrane’s historical appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival.
In 1995, John Coltrane was honored by the United States Postal Service with a commemorative postage stamp. Issued as part of the musicians and composers series, this collectors item remains in circulation.
In 1999, Universal Studios and its recording division MCA Records recognized John Coltrane’s influence on cinema by naming a street on the Universal Studios lot in his honor.
In 2001, The NEA and the RIAA released 360 songs of the Century . Among them was John Coltrane’s 'My Favorite Things.' (Source: www.johncoltrane.com)