John Coltrane: Summertime




John Coltrane (tenor sax)


My Favorite Things (Atlantic 1361)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Steve Davis (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward


Recorded: New York, October 24, 1960


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

From the first note of this recording, you can tell that Coltrane's version of "Summertime" will be unique. Without any introduction, Coltrane kicks off the tune in D minor. While jazz versions of "Summertime" are played in a variety of keys, D minor sounds higher than the keys we usually hear for this song. When the rhythm section enters two beats later, the effect is complete, with Elvin Jones's slashing rhythms and McCoy Tyner's syncopated quartal harmonies. As on the album's title tune, Coltrane and Tyner reduce "Summertime" to a minimal modal harmonic base and focus on building emotional intensity. Dating from early in the Quartet's existence, this performance is not as intense as later recordings, but it shows that the group already knew which direction it would travel.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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  • 1 Danne // Apr 30, 2009 at 01:52 AM
    What can be said about Coltrane/Tyner/Jones/ Davis combination but,EXPLOSIVE!!!! Love, love, love, "Summertime" it's hot!!!!
  • 2 Kirven Boyd // May 06, 2009 at 08:26 PM
    Yo I can't get enough of summertime. I have to listen to it over and over again. Trane is still one of the best sax players of all time.