Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Coming around to Coltrane

Of course, he was a genius, one of the most important figures in American music. Still, I have found it possible to wonder whether his greatness resided in his innovativeness, rather than in his playing. Listening to his ballads tonight, I am hearing Sinatra– that artful casualness (or is it casual artiness) that makes you wonder whether that guy sitting on the bar stool next to you pouring his heart out might not be quite what you thought he was when you first bellied up to the bar. That is, not an everyday poet, but someone so in command of every phrase that the gap between artifice and spontaneity is erased. Yeah, he really was that good.

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