John Coltrane: My Favorite Things (1961)

July 8, 2008


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“My Favorite Things” by Rodgers and Hammerstein

John Coltrane – soprano sax, tenor sax
Eric Dolphy – flute, alto sax
McCoy Tyner – piano
Reggie Workman – bass
Elvin Jones – drums

1961 in Baden-Baden Germany

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Brad Wood July 8, 2008 at 10:19 pm

It’s always fun to hear any of those musicians, no matter what the set or setting. Having said that, they do look to be in varying degrees of listlessness to outright unease, in this particular video.

Eric’s flute playing is not usually that insecure, although besides this outing, I suspect he’s prompted more than a few in-grave rotations of the late great Roger Stevens.

The monkey suits (phrase of an associate from way back) of some of the players seem especially less than apropos. I feel for Elvin as he almost always generates an immense amount of sweat when playing. Perhaps the costumes were a factor in the restraint here.

I had the great and undeserved honor of sitting in with a trio Elvin had, in the summer of 1972, at the Village Vanguard in NYC. Unfortunately I didn’t know the tune, amd when Dave Liebman asked me if I knew God Bless The Children, I thought he said God Bless The Child (hearty guffaws all around now!). At one point Gene Perla, the third member, usually on bass, attempted to help by playing some chords on the mostly-undeployed piano, but I was too far gone at that point.

Elvin was visibly relieved when Dave properly cut in on my meandering solo, and expostulated “My Man!!” 😉

But at least I came away with a story. BTW the reason we (me and a Japanese tenor player) had the entree, was that Elvin’s wife was a Nichiren Buddhist, and I was with the backup band on a multi-city tour of shows for the practictioners with a certain charming singer, Miss Shimakura Chioko. Her rendition of No Honki Kashira (“Are You Serious?”) was not to be missed, although I found personal delight in her version of Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (you have to imagine that with the uncertain realizations of the l’s and r’s).

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