John Coltrane (featuring Elvin Jones): Sun Ship
John Coltrane (tenor sax)
Sun Ship (Impulse 9211)
Composed by John Coltrane.
Recorded: New York, August 26, 1965
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
The legendary A Love Supreme, aside from its reputation as one of the most important moments in the history of modern jazz, also acted to foreshadow the future of the Classic Coltrane Quartet. While the extremes to which Coltrane would soon take his free improvisations ultimately resulted in the inevitable exit of Jones and Tyner in early 1966, there are post-Supreme examples of an intermediary Classic Quartet that represent some of their strongest group playing, from Transition to First Meditations to Sun Ship. There is some fascinating listening to be done on this title track – Jones's playing during Tyner's improvisation can fit into many previous, less experimental Coltrane recordings. Coltrane's insistence on pushing himself into new directions, however, alters Jones's playing during their interactions here. It's hard to tell exactly how comfortable Jones is, but the Trane/Elvin interplay is nonetheless boundary-pushing and edge-of-your-seat exciting.
Reviewer: Eric Novod