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Review: John Coltrane: The Paris Concert

The MHS Review 385, Vol. 11 No. 7, 1987

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Carl Brauer, Cadence (April 1986)


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The Paris Concert is a 1961 or 1962 radio broadcast of a performance .... Kicking off the album is the side-long "Mr. P.C.," a 26-minute exorcism that gives Tyner, Gar­rison, Jones, and finally Coltrane ample room to explore the inner workings of the music. One can hear (and even feel) Col­trane fighting with himself to express the musical vision that was still percolating in­side of himself. Even with the less than "hi­fi" sound (this is a mono recording), the sheer joy and abandonment of the act of musical creation is palpable. This continues unabated with "The Inch Worm"; the on­ly change is the soprano sax for the tenor and the lack of any real solo space for the others. The final "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" is a chance (in a sense) for everyone to catch his breath, and Coltrane gives a nice, but hardly out of the ordinary, rendition. Since there are many examples of the Coltrane Quartet at that time in various authorized and unauthorized recor­dings, this does not shine any more bright­ly. However, if one doesn't have too many already, this one will do just fine.

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