John Coltrane: My Favorite Things
My Favorite Things
John Coltrane (soprano sax)
My Favorite Things (Atlantic 1361-2)
Composed by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II.
Recorded: New York, October 21, 1960
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
John Coltrane, photo by Herb Snitzer
In 1960, adding the soprano saxophone to his bag of tricks, John Coltrane joined the ancient brotherhood of snake charmers. Swami John's hypnotic trance, built around a harmless waltz from Broadway's The Sound of Music, was a cobra's cornucopia of monotonously mesmerizing churning and swirling. Moreover, its surprising popularity promoted the soprano sax from little sister to Big Mama. Neither Sidney Bechet's voluminous vibrato nor Steve Lacy's ascetic modernism had found many followers, but Coltrane made the soprano obligatory, opening the floodgates to wimpy whiners such as Kenny G. Yet while "Songbird" is on a par with undergoing root canal without anesthetic, Trane's "My Favorite Things" is like undergoing root canal without anesthetic while listening to bagpipes on headphones. At least "Songbird" is over in five minutes. "My Favorite Things" drones punishingly on for nearly a quarter of an hour. Admittedly, "MFT" constitutes an important moment in jazz history. But sometimes historical documents need to be sealed in airtight, watertight, soundproof containers—usually for their own protection, but in this case more for ours.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz