Monday, August 3, 2009

John Coltrane - The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions

Africa/Brass is a 1961 album by John Coltrane, his first for the new Impulse! label. It features Coltrane's five-piece working band (which at the time included two bassists - Reggie Workman and Art Davis), backed by a fifteen-piece brass band including, among others, trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Booker Little, and bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy. The brass arrangements were originally credited to Dolphy, but in the years since the album was released it has emerged that they were, in fact, primarily the work of pianist McCoy Tyner (misspelled "Turner" on the original issue). Tyner wrote out the arrangement for the English traditional song, "Greensleeves"; for the two original pieces, "Africa" and "Blues Minor", Dolphy and Coltrane adapted Tyner's piano voicings for the orchestra.

A second LP, culled from the same sessions, was released in 1974. It was titled Africa/Brass Sessions, Volume 2. It featured a version of the slavery-era spiritual-cum-code-tune, "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd" (retitled "Song of the Underground Railroad") as well as alternate takes of "Greensleeves" and "Africa". There also exist outtakes from the sessions - a version of Cal Massey's "The Damned Don't Cry", and additional alternate versions of "Africa" and "Greensleeves".

Both albums have since been combined onto one compact disc. All existent takes (including both albums, and the three outtakes) from the sessions have also been compiled in order of recording on the double-CD collection, The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions....Africa/Brass remains one of the most powerful and compelling examples of the art of John Coltrane.


marram62 said...

The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions Track Listing

Disc 1

1. "Greensleeves" (trad.) 9:57
2. "Song of the Underground Railroad" (trad.) 6:44
3. "Greensleeves" (alternate take) (trad.) 10:53
4. "The Damned Don't Cry" (Cal Massey) 7:34
5. "Africa" (first version) (Coltrane) 14:08

Disc 2

1. "Blues Minor" (Coltrane) 7:20
2. "Africa" (alternate take) (Coltrane) 16:08
3. "Africa" (Coltrane) 16:29


* John Coltrane — tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
* Booker Little — trumpet
* Freddie Hubbard — trumpet
* Britt Woodman — trombone
* Carl Bowman — euphonium
* Julian Priester — euphonium
* Charles Greenlee — euphonium
* Julius Watkins — french horn
* Donald Corrado — french horn
* Bob Northern — french horn
* Robert Swisshelm — french horn
* Jim Buffington — french horn
* Bill Barber — tuba
* Eric Dolphy — alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, arranger
* Pat Patrick — baritone saxophone
* Garvin Bushell — baritone saxophone
* McCoy Tyner — piano, arranger
* Reggie Workman — bass
* Art Davis — bass
* Elvin Jones — drums

Don said...

Please post bitrates for your links