John Coltrane: Blues To Bechet


Blues To Bechet


John Coltrane (soprano sax)


Coltrane Plays the Blues (Atlantic SD 1382)

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John Coltrane (soprano sax), Steve Davis (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by John Coltrane


Recorded: New York, October 24, 1960


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

"Blues To Bechet" is another of John Coltrane's many superb pianoless blues performances. Apparently there was something about the sonority of a simple bass/drums accompaniment that brought out Trane's best, especially when playing the blues at a slow-to-medium tempo. As one might deduce given the song title, he plays soprano—somewhat of a departure for him, since most of his recorded blues performances were played on tenor. Coltrane plays very lyrically, as was often his tendency on the smaller horn. In his solo, he leans on simple melodic figures, stitched together with an occasional technical flourish. The mood is laid back and fairly restrained. Neither of his bandmates solos, but both provide more than adequate support. Things heat up in his final chorus, but mostly Trane tells his story in (relatively) simple language, within a narrow emotional compass. It's a Coltrane not often heard, but one that is invariably affecting.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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