JOHN COLTRANE — First Meditations (for quartet)

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JOHN COLTRANE - First Meditations (for quartet) cover
4.29 | 10 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1977

Tracklist

A1 Love 8:00
A2 Compassion 9:30
B1 Joy 8:53
B2 Consequences 7:15
B3 Serenity 5:12

Bonustrack:
6. Joy (alternate version) (12:14)

Total Time: 52:17

Line-up/Musicians

John Coltrane – tenor saxophone, band leader
Jimmy Garrison – double bass
Elvin Jones – drums
McCoy Tyner – piano

About this release

Impulse! AS-9332 (US)

Recorded September 2, 1965, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
Track 6 Recorded Sep 22, 1965

Thanks to Abraxas, snobb for the updates

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JOHN COLTRANE FIRST MEDITATIONS (FOR QUARTET) reviews

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Members reviews

Sean Trane
There have been many excellent Trane posthumous releases (commercialized in 77), but this one might just be the best ever. Graced with an unusual sleeve (especially for the Impulse! label), First Meditations was recorded in the last days of the first quartet, but obviously shelved, and later re-worked during the transition with the second quartet, with two drummers and two saxes. As this release’s name might indicate, this is the first version of the Meditations album that Trane recorded and released with his second classic quartet, but the tracks are played by the Tyner, Elvin and Jimmy quartet, and believe me, this is a much friendlier train of thoughts than the “official” album.

If the opening Love doesn’t change very much from the “official” version, Compassion is indeed more accessible than its original (not) version, with some haunting drumming and piano-key tickling. You’ll find that the movements of the Meditations suite are not in the same order as the album had them, but it doesn’t hurt at all the flow of the music in the present running. Joy is probably the closest to the sextet version, along with the up-coming Consequences, at least in the intention and spirit. The hardest track on the FM album is also the hardest one of Meditations: Consequences is definitely toying with the limits of sanity and dissonance, yet it’s still kinder to your eardrums that the double sax-drums version. Actually, I find this first version more cohesive and coherent than the sextet version, because the addition of Pharoah and Rashied are not always happy ones, the compability of some musicians not being obvious for the benefit of the composition. The closing Serenity is rather longer thn the sextet version, but refers less (IMHO) to the ALS composition.

As you’ll guess, the major difference between M and FM is the quartet’s members, with Tyner’s always perfect piano, and Elvin’s ever present awesomùe drumming, botgh of whom surpass (IMHO) Pharoah and Rashied Ali’s contributions on the Meditation release. If you have room for only one version of Meditations, this is the present that I’d suggest you, because if less spectacular, it certainly is easier to digest and will most likely get much more spinning time on your hi-fi.

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  • MoogHead
  • Perdido
  • KK58
  • stevedupreez
  • Anster
  • sodr2
  • richby
  • Drummer
  • darkprinceofjazz

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