A post on semi-accidental compliance.
As part of my research on endless lists of 10/20/50/101 essential Jazz records I came across an interesting feature on Revive Music called Order Is Everything.
At the time of writing (I’m hoping it’s an on-going project) there were five artists featured, listing ten or so of their key albums, and, crucially the order you should listen to them in. I found this as a handy guide, allowing me to wade into an artist’s portfolio gradually, rather than plunging head first into an out-there avant-garde deep end, liable to shock me into regression.
So, the link was duly bookmarked for future reference.
I spoke previously about my jazz awakening while, after a few attempts, finally giving ‘Kind Of Blue’ a proper listen.
Well, that awakening jumped up a notch the first time I sat down and listened to Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’. That was when I could start to see that I was beginning to ‘get’ jazz.
And what do you know? It’s first on the list. What an explosive start to a list!
The day I went to visit a guy who was selling a few albums of his, I had ‘Giant Steps’ and ‘My Favourite Things’ in mind. While there we came to a good deal on three Coltrane LPs. Asking for guidance on the third, he suggested ‘Coltrane’s Sound’ to me, so I left with all three tucked under my arm.
I hadn’t planned on picking up ‘Coltrane’s Sound’; I hadn’t even researched it, but took it purely on recommendation. Upon arriving home, and logging the new arrivals on Discogs, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had numbers 1, 3 and 4 from the list in my possession.
The next logical step, of course was to put things right by picking up a copy of ‘Blue Train’. Not only did I get my sequence back on track, but I now had four wonderful albums that gave a hell of an introduction to the world of John Coltrane.
Yes, ‘A Love Supreme’ might top a lot of polls as the best jazz album ever, but lists are lists, and I’m really trusting this one, so I will bide my time until I work down as far as it.
In the mean time, next up is album #5, ‘Duke Ellington & John Coltrane’.
It must have been faith when I strolled into the local record shop, not really looking for anything, just killing some time. And there it was. A quick look at the sealed album, and it seemed to be a genuine Impulse re-issue, so it came home with me that day.
Further inspection, and it seems a 1997 US Impulse re-issue, still sealed popped up in a little record shop in Ireland.
I’m really loving this album, showing the softer side of Coltrane, and some beautiful playing from Ellington too. The opener, ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ is fabulous, and it continues from there.
Will I continue with the list? Possibly not. A Love Supreme is obviously on the radar, but I can see myself going off-track when it comes to further exploration of Coltrane.
Was it worth doing for the first half dozen or so albums? I certainly think so.