John Coltrane: Greensleeves
John Coltrane (soprano sax)
The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse IMPD4-232)
Recorded: Village Vanguard, New York, November 3, 1961
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Coltrane’s jukebox-friendly interpretation of the show tune “My Favorite Things” has always overshadowed his overhaul of the English folk song “Greensleeves” – also known as the Christmas song “What Child Is This?” – but this is the superior performance. This wasn’t the first time he recorded it, but he really nailed it here. The first few notes out of Coltrane’s sax come crashing down more than an octave as he states the melody once and then sends it caroming all over the place, augmenting its simple beauty with squeals and phrases that seem gorgeously out of place.
Reviewer: Steve Greenlee