Two Kind(s) of Blue That's right, not one but two Kinds of Blue, or at least two
|both purporting to tell the complete story of the Kind of Blue album, arguably one of the most influential jazz recordings of the idiom's second half-century. First out of the gate is Ashley Kahn's Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, released on September 20 2000. Kahn enlisted the aid of drummer Jimmy Cobb, the sole surviving member of the group that recorded the five titles (in two sessions) which comprise KOB, and Cobb's name appears on the cover. Kahn apparently had access to all the session tapes, to logs, to Bill Evans's handwritten notes, and to a variety of other resources. There's an interesting interview available (as of this writing) with Kahn at All About Jazz.|
Eric Nisenson's The Making of Kind of Blue : Miles Davis and His Masterpiece
is due out any time now (November 2000 is the only release date I've seen), and it too
purports to tell the whole story. The pre-release blurb cites the same access to
rare recordings and interviews. We haven't seen either so far (out here in the wide
open plains) but both should make interesting reading. November 12, 2000
NOTE: Kahn is at work on a book about Coltrane's A Love Supreme, treating it as an event similar to Kind of Blue. It should be out in 2002. November 23, 2001
John Coltrane Tribute Concert New York City's famed Town Hall (123 West 43rd Street in Manhattan) will host a special tribute to John Coltrane on what would have been his seventy-fourth birthday, September 23, 2000 at 7pm. The concert will feature performances of many of Coltrane's more than 100 compositions. Musicians playing Coltrane's compositions and Coltrane inspired compositions include Jimmy Vass, Amiri Baraka, Trudy Silver, Booker T, Wilber Morris, Herbert Morgan, Ira Atkins, Shelia Brown, Hal Onserud and students of PSRC's choir conducted by Daryl G. Ware. Elaine Shipman choreographed a new dance to original recordings of Coltrane. Sharif Abdus-Salaam from WKCR-FM is the host with guest appearance from Japan by Coltrane discographer Yasuhiro Fujioka. General admission is $20 at the door. September 22, 2000
Verve Reissues Coltrane Albums Verve Music Group, now in charge of the Impulse label, released five Coltrane CD reissues of classic Coltrane Impulse albums from the sixties on June 6, 2000. The five--Impressions, Kulu Se Mama, Ascension, New Thing At Newport and Interstellar Space--contain additional material. There are some changes from our pre-release info.... For full details click here.June 10, 2000
Miles with John Coltrane - The Box Set The next big box set of CDs to do damage to your wallet will probably be the Complete Columbia Miles Davis Sessions with John Coltrane. Originally this long-awaited set was due out in October, but in mid-August Columbia announced that the date had been pushed back to February 2000. The red box finally hit the street around the beginning of April 2000. Note that Mosaic Records put out a nine-LP version of the box set on the same date that Columbia Legacy Jazz releases the six-CD box. Michael Cuscuna had a hand in the project, and his comments appear in the Mosaic catalog: "Since we embarked on the 'boxing of Miles' five years ago, I've been chomping at the bit to get at this stuff. We came up with 13 excellent unissued alternate takes, a pianoless alternate version of Little Melonae and a fascinating studio conversation between Miles and Leonard Bernstein. Best of all, we've been able to go to the source and come out with superb sounding masters. And the Milestones album which has been in mono or electronically rechanneled stereo for the past 40-odd years is finally presented here in real stereo." Click here for information about the advance copy of the box set, which was identical except for the box itself. April 16, 2000. Photo of Miles Davis courtesy of Sony Music.
Fortune Cuts Coltrane Tribute CD Sonny Fortune recently released a CD on Shanachie which may be of interest to Coltrane aficionados. Entitled In The Spirit Of John Coltrane, it contains his versions of Ole and Africa as well as seven Fortune compositions that express his feelings for the musician he calls "my shining example of what this music is about and what we as jazz musicians are about." Accompanying Fortune on all but one track are pianist John Hicks, bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Ronnie Burrage. On For John Fortune is joined by Reggie Workman on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. Shanachie has details at In The Spirit Of John Coltrane .June 10, 2000
New Owner Evicts
Church of Coltrane The St. John W. Coltrane African Orthodox
Church, a fixture in San Francisco since 1971, lost its struggle to remain in its
storefront church located at 351 Divisadero Street, early this year. The church lost its
lease April 1, although Bishop Franzo King was allowed to return for an Easter ceremony on
April 23. King later temporarily resumed limited services at St. Paulus Lutheran Church on
930 Gough, while awaiting completion of new facilities at 3rd and Gilman in San Francisco.
The relocations mean giving up (at least temporarily) the outreach activities the church
provided to residents near its former location. The eviction resulted from a change in
building owners in 1998 and a subsequent doubling of the rent. There was an extensive
article on the church featured in sfweekly, an alternative newspaper out of San Francisco:
sfweekly . The
church also has a web page: Church of Coltrane .
November 12 2000
NOTE: Church member Max Hoff posted a note to the Coltrane list in September 2001 indicating that the Coltrane Church is still alive. Since the eviction they've been guests of St. Paulus Lutheran Church at 930 Gough in San Francisco. Lack of funds have delayed plans to renovate a space in the Hunter's Point area. The church has extended services to the Santa Cruz area twice weekly.
Coltrane On Film At Lincoln Center New York's Lincoln Center presented a Coltrane on Film seminar on 3/9/2000, hosted by Jackie McLean. Ed Rhodes attended the 7 pm show and filed this report:
Of seven clips they showed, three were not commercially available. Two were from Comblain La Tour (8/1/65): the untitled track, which they introduced as "Vigil", and "Naima". Quality was decent, considering. It actually looked like grainy film footage, maybe blown up Super 8 or 16mm that has been pushed. But TV cameras were in evidence so maybe this was originally shot in 2 inch quadraplex. A lot of both performances was done in a fairly tight head shot of Trane where you could see the tenor a little past the bend but no fingers. There were similar tight shots of Elvin, no hands or sticks. The camera did pull out on "Untitled" towards the end of Trane's opening solo. I hadn't realized that the entire performance up to Tyner's solo was a duet w/ Jones. Jimmy Garrison doesn't join in until McCoy starts to play. My old ears.
The other rare item was the version of "I Want to Talk About You" from the second Stockholm concert on 11/19/62. The whole title was on the tape. There was some shakey camera work at points and the camera panned in an obligatory fashion to each of the quartet members. But most of it is a full shot of Trane (head to toe) and it was riveting, much more so than the audio only. There is no unaccompanied tag on this version.
The other items were supplied by Chertok Associates, according to the program. The JALC representative who introduced Jackie McLean stated that they were lent by the Chertok estate. Some of them are commercially available in "The World According to John Coltrane" and/or "The Coltrane Legacy". The complete "So What" from the 1959 Robert Herridge tv show and the complete 1963 Jazz Casual performance have also been commercially issued. The program also included interview footage with Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Jimmy Heath and Wayne Shorter, all of which is in either TWATJC or TCL. The interviews were tagged onto the individual performance clips. Jackie McLean commented between the video footage and took some questions at the end.
McLean had a few interesting comments. He restated his take on Trane kicking his heroin habit on stage at the Cafe Bohemia w/ Miles. This is the same material quoted on p. 104 of Porter. He also reiterated Miles' take on the 1951 Audobon Ballroom gig, stating that Sonny Rollins "reigned" that night.
Worth the 10 bucks, though it cost $15 to park.
--Ed Rhodes. March 16, 2000
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