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.
"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art." - CHARLIE PARKER