I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ten Of The Best: Miles Davis and John Coltrane (7)



To represent jazz on this list I first thought of Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis from the groundbreaking album Kind of Blue; then I thought of John Coltrane and Spiritual. (Of course, Coltrane also plays on the Davis track.) Both such intensely mystical pieces of music, I feel.

In 1957 Coltrane had a religious experience that may have helped him overcome the heroin addiction and alcoholism he had struggled with since 1948. In the liner notes of A Love Supreme Coltrane states that in 1957 'I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.'

WIKIPEDIA

And in the liner notes of Meditations (1965) Coltrane declares: I believe in all religions.

8 comments:

Sabine said...

Oh a million thanks! This came just at the right time today. What a wonder this music is.

George said...

Far be it from me to argue with your choice of Miles Davis and John Coltrane. These are legendary figures in jazz — and deservedly so.

sackerson said...

Our lists of 'the best' certainly converge at this point! Great stuff. You've got me reaching for my Bitches' Brew.

Vagabonde said...

My, oh my - to represent jazz, it would be hard for me to decide who to include. I started to listen to jazz in the late 1950s and went to jazz clubs in Paris and London at that time. Also being in Paris it was easy to go and watch Duke Ellington, Mile Davis, Sidney Bechet and others when they came there. Also in Paris I used to go and watch Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – have several records signed by him. One of the main reasons I went to the US was to listen to jazz, live. In New York I listened to several jazz greats at the Village Vanguard.
My first 4 months in San Francisco were spent, every night, at the Blackhawk Jazz Club in the Tenderloin district where I saw the MJQ, Lee Morgan, Horace Silver and more. One of my all time favorite is Thelonious Monk but I also like Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan in the cool jazz style. I spent my first Thanksgiving at the home of Earl Fatha Hines in Oakland - I believe Coltrane was there and maybe Philly Joe Jones, Charlie Mingus, Sonny Rollins and Paul Chambers, but that was a long time ago – I forget. Then in North Beach there was the Jazz Workshop where I saw Dizzy Gillespie (who tried to pick me up!)Cannonball Adderley, Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner and John Coltrane were all regulars there too. Carmen McRae was singing there as well. Then after that, I think starting in 1965 in San Francisco, both the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom featured both jazz musicians and rock ‘n' roll like Janice Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Co. Nice to remember all this (I still have all my Blue Notes 33 LP.)

The Solitary Walker said...

Vagabonde, your reminiscences are magnificent! I really enjoyed reading them. Can I post them as a main feature? Lots of people will miss reading them as a comment here.

The Solitary Walker said...

And thanks Sabine, George and Dominic for your comments.

Vagabonde said...

You are welcome to use my comments any way you wish.
I was raised with music – my father had a player piano in my bedroom and as a child I would listen to Scott Joplin’s rags (in between Chopin’s waltzes!) Then, later, when I visited London I would go to all the New Orleans type places in Soho. When I went to school in London I also would go once a week to a pub that had great jazz. Have you read my 2011 post A New Year Party to Remember ?, it mentions jazz in London (http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2011/12/recollection-new-year-party-to-remember.html.) Then in Paris at that time there was a radio station, Europe No. 1, that had started an emission called “Pour ceux qui aiment le jazz” one hour every evening (Monday night modern jazz, Tuesday night New Orleans jazz, Wednesday night a concert, and so on.) That is where I learnt a lot about jazz and all the musicians. It would advertize where you could go and hear jazz musicians in Paris. The show would start with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers playing “Blues March for Europe No.1” (I still know it by heart, and my heart jumps when I hear it… – you can listen to it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xf3hv9_art-blakey-jazz-messengers-blues-ma_music?GK_FACEBOOK_OG_HTML5=1.) Lee Morgan played trumpet in this piece. It’s funny that I saw Lee Morgan many times in San Francisco, after that, and became friend with his girl-friend – we would sit together at the club listening to him. In Paris I also had a subscription to the magazine “Jazz-Hot” a French magazine on jazz, started in 1935. In my circle then in Paris and London I was a lot more into jazz than in the US. France has always been strong on jazz since WW1 when the US black musicians who had been fighting the war stayed in Paris to avoid the racism of the US. There are some interesting books about this. I still listen to jazz.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Vagabonde - and for the extra memories. I'll do a little feature in a few days!