Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ascension @ Jazz Standard 11/16/11

In the jazz world, John Coltrane is held in the highest esteem.  Most of us love all of it.  He contributed mightily to music.  I have many albums, but I don't have all of them.  It looks like "Ascension" is a must have, and I don't have it yet. I did find 10 min here and there on youtube to hold me over.

On stage were 2 magnificent drummers and Ben Allison on bass.  We were told by the producer that there were 2 bassists on the album but you only need one when you have Ben.  I see from the original personnel on the album that there was only one drummer:  the mighty Elvin Jones.  It was awesome watching him and Matt Wilson play off of each other at times.  Billy Drummond made things even more interesting.  Rounding out the rhythm section was a piano, although I only noticed it when the horns left the stage and one or two other times.

What a horn section!  Jeremy Pelt was especially exciting on trumpet.  I also loved Vincent Herring on alto.  They were all magnificent.

The listing:
Donny McCaslin – tenor saxophone
Sabir Mateen – alto saxophone
Vincent Herring – alto saxophone
Jeremy Pelt – trumpet
Josh Roseman – trombone
James Weidman – piano
Ben Allison – bass
Billy Drummond – drums
Matt Wilson – drums

In a reprise of Jazz Standard’s hugely successful Impulse! Records 50th Anniversary celebration earlier this year, an all–star nonet will assume the weighty mantle of reinterpreting Ascension, “the single re­cording that placed John Coltrane firmly into the avant–garde,” wrote Sam Samuelson at The original band (including Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, Freddie Hubbard, and McCoy Tyner) played Trane’s 40–minute epic in a manner “both relentless and soulful simultaneously…With a patient ear and an appreciation for the finer things in life, the reward is a greater understanding of the personal path that the artist was on at that particular time in his development.” Every member of this group is a leader in his own right, and together they’re sure to make this evening one of the highlights of the jazz year.

Some info about the album:
John Coltrane (tenor saxophone);
John Tchicai (alto saxophone),
Marion Brown (alto saxophone);
Freddie Hubbard (tenor saxophone, trumpet);
Pharoah Sanders (tenor saxophone),
Archie Shepp (tenor saxophone);
Dewey Johnson (trumpet);
McCoy Tyner (piano);
Elvin Jones (drums).

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