3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
LATE, LIVE AND WELL RECORDED,
This review is from: Coltrane Live At The Village Vanguard Again! (Audio CD)
Coltrane's mastery is evident again as he revisits yet again these two numbers which lesser musicians would have done to death by playing so many versions. The recording quality for late (post Tyner and Jones) Coltrane is matched or surpassed only by the recordings in Japan. The audience is treated as hip and sufficiently in the know to spare them too many literal repetitions of the theme statements. All the other instrumentalists have their moments, but apart from the extraordinary affinity between Coltrane and Rashied Ali I can't help feeling this band was not quite as telepathically tuned to each other as the "classic quartet". When the others are soloing I keep longing for Coltrane himself to enter. Sanders' apparently random series of shrieks and yelps sound incoherent and lacking in real substance compared to Coltrane's own offerings, which really SING. (In fact I think Sanders is the most over-rated saxophonist from this period.) The soprano sound on "My favourite things" is more oboe-like and oriental than ever, and on this track the liberties Coltrane was beginning to take with rhythmic symmetry on albums like "First meditations" seem to make perfect sense.
This is probably one of the key recordings of late-period Coltrane, not as overwhelming as "Interstellar space", but giving a good brief view of what this band was like live. For a fuller, more detailed live recording "Live in Japan" seems to the best overview.