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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars how far can you go?, 6 Sep 2009
By 
Jan De Meyer "jazzhermit" (Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Last Performance at Newport July 1966 (Audio CD)
During the final years of his life, John Coltrane engaged in an unrelenting quest for the outer boundaries of what could be expressed musically. This cd, taped during Trane's last Newport performance, a year before he died, documents that quest.

This is a privately taped recording, and the sound quality is not exactly great. In comparison, the last live recording (the Olatunji concert of April 1967) sounds like hifi. Jimmy Garrison's bass is almost inaudible throughout and Rashied Ali's drums are little more than a distant rumble. Likewise, Pharoah Sanders' tenor sax is almost totally absent, but that is rather due to cuts in the original.

This cd contains three extended tunes, or at least large portions of them: a very free rendition of "My Favourite Things", followed by "Welcome" and "Leo". Conservative jazz critics present at the concert were horrified. Yet Trane was able to take his music even further. Just compare Newport's "Leo" with the same tune on Trane's last studio recording, Interstellar Space (recorded February, 1967). On that record, Trane is freed of the clutter provided by the other musicians except for the frantically drumming Rashied Ali, and the result is totally free and totally exhilarating.

In summary: an interesting recording for those who want to understand the growth of the man who felt compelled to say everything he could - preferably simultaneously.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Late Trane, 26 Sep 2009
This review is from: Last Performance at Newport July 1966 (Audio CD)
It's Coltrane! It's free jazz! It has "My favorite things"! As one would expect from such a late, 21th century issue of late Trane (from 1966!),
the sound is far from perfect (bootleg is not the wrong word here), but I guess it's still acceptable to most listeners - except for the Hi-Fi purists... The music is powerful and often dissonant,
the band is concentrated and intense, although I would lie if I said my attention didn't wonder off at few occasions. But- free jazz is not really my thing, it's just one of those things I like to take a look at occasionally.
Basically, since the "production values" are not perfect (for instance, I think Sanders is under-recorded at some solos) it would be wrong of me two give it full five stars. Otherwise, as far as I can tell, this is great free jazz music. No wonder Coltrane practiced his heart out - he had to in order to give such performances. The liner notes are OK; historically interesting, with a very strange (practically unedited) Coltrane interview included.

John Coltrane - soprano and tenor sax, percussion
Pharoah Sanders - tenor sax, piccolo percuss.
Alice Coltrane - piano
Jimmy Garrison - bass
Rashied Ali - dm
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Last Performance at Newport July 1966
Last Performance at Newport July 1966 by John Coltrane (Audio CD - 2009)
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