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John Coltrane Quintet/John Coltrane: Live in Japan [Complete Edition]

Album Notes

The John Coltrane Quintet: John Coltrane (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, percussion); Pharoah Sanders (alto & tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion); Alice Coltrane (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Rashied Ali (drums).

Recorded live at Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall and Sankei Hall, Tokyo, Japan on July 11 & 22, 1966. Includes liner notes by Alice Coltrane, Michael Cuscuna and Masamichi Okazaki

Disc 3 was previously released in the U.S. as LIVE IN JAPAN, all other material is previously unreleased in this country.

The 1966 Japanese tour of John Coltrane and his quintet of Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison and Rashied Ali marked not only the jazz master's only visit to the country but the advent of his provocative, challenging avant-garde work. Taken from two Tokyo radio concerts, JOHN COLTRANE LIVE IN JAPAN captures the freeform, kinetic performances of the saxophonist with the jagged accompaniment of this quintet; a striking visceral adjustment from Coltrane's usual quartet of McCoy Tyner, Garrison and Elvin Jones.

This is probably not the place for Coltrane newcomers to begin; the recordings are demanding since basic rhythmic structure soon gives way to what may sound to untrained ears like cacophony, rather than an intense, emotional dialogue between musicians. The solid firmament of such Coltrane recordings as A LOVE SUPREME or GIANT STEPS are better introductions to the man's oeuvre. On LIVE IN JAPAN, hour and half-hour long jams like "Peace on Earth" and "Crescent" spiral off into bold, transcendental exchanges, breaking from established rhythms to free-spirited playing. Even the Coltrane staple "My Favorite Things" is deconstructed into an hour-long frenzy of abstract expressionism. A fascinating addition to Coltrane's remarkable catalogue, LIVE IN JAPAN is a fevered stroke of unpredictable genius.


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