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New Thing At Newport

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Album Review

The classic John Coltrane Quartet made one of its final appearances at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965. The tension among bandmembers is evident on the advanced version of "One Down, One Up." Coltrane's performance is moving...yet weary. It's apparent the saxophonist wasn't getting the sound he wanted and by the end of the year he would take a different direction, hiring Pharoah Sanders and wife Alice Coltrane for the band. Tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp's earlier afternoon New Thing performance included an engaging version of "Call Me by My Rightful Name" with Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. [Verve's six-track reissue appeared in 2009.]


Born: 23 September 1926 in Hamlet, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Despite a relatively brief career (he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967), saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz. It seems amazing that his period of greatest activity was so short, not only because he recorded prolifically, but also because, taking advantage of his fame, the record companies that recorded him as a sideman in the 1950s frequently reissued...
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