John Coltrane - Interstellar Space (1967) [mp3 192] Artwork

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John Coltrane's last recordings have a concentrated intensity and a pointed focus that give them the authority of a final testament. On Interstellar Space, recorded in February 1967 just a few months before his death, Coltrane reduced the idea of the group to its absolute minimum, a duo with drummer Rashied Ali. Without the fixed harmonic frame of reference provided by piano or bass, Coltrane takes each of his brief themes and submits it to extended testing--repeating, contracting, and expanding phrases until they melt into a new inspiration. These are performances of extraordinary technical achievement. Coltrane ranges over the tenor with a vibrato so tight it sounds like it might contort the horn, exploring incremental shifts in pitch and tone and bending notes from one register to another. But it's a virtuosity that may well go unnoticed amid the sheer passion of his work and the unknown goal toward which every improvisation moves. It's visionary music, filled with expressive necessity and the full tumult of life, embarking on journeys that are as apt to begin in serenity as end there. Rashied Ali matches Coltrane here as well as Elvin Jones had earlier in the decade, using continuous rolls and cymbal details to create a polyrhythmic backdrop that's filled with subtle, responsive shifts in accents. It's clearly all the support that Coltrane required. --Stuart Broomer
1. Mars
2. Venus 
3. Jupiter
4. Saturn
5. Leo
6. Jupiter Variation 
Folder.jpg 6.084 KB
John Coltrane - Interstellar Space - 01_Mars.mp3 15.581 MB
John Coltrane - Interstellar Space - 02_Leo.mp3 15.882 MB
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