Soft Machine, Jazz Workshop Hamburg, 1973

Soft Machine personnel:
Roy Babbington – bass
Karl Jenkins – keyboards & reeds
John Marshall – drums
Matt Ratledge – keyboards

Special Guests:
Gary Boyle – guitar
Art Themen – soprano and tenor saxes

John Zorn / Masada String Trio, Warsaw 1999 (I)

John Zorn, Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 1999

Masada String Trio:
Mark Feldman
Erik Friedlander
Greg Cohen

Egberto Gismonti Trio – 7 Aneis / Infancia / Forro

Egberto Gismonti, Nando Carneiro e Zeca Assumpção Ao Vivo Na Sala Cecília Meireles.

7 Aneis / Infancia / Forro.

John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension, Mother Tongues, 2011

John McLaughlin – electric guitar
Gary Husband – keyboards, drums
Etienne M’Bappe – electric bass
Ranjid Barot – drums

46 Heineken JazzAldia
Festival de Jazz de San Sebastián, 23 Julio 2011
Plaza de la Trinidad, Donosti, Spain

Mingus, chaos & magic


(Charles Mingus in Paris, 1964 – Guy Le Querrec/Magnum Photos)

Charles Mingus’s audiences never knew quite what they were going to get, and this kept them coming. Mingus, the bassist, composer, and bandleader who reached the height of his fame in the mid-1960s, was notoriously mercurial. He was known to fire and rehire band members over the course of a set, and was once fired himself for chasing a trombonist across the stage with an axe. His reactions to noisy crowds ranged from announcing, “Isaac Stern doesn’t have to put up with this shit,” to ordering his band to read books onstage. His music, which drew omnivorously on the blues, gospel, Dixieland, Duke Ellington, bebop, and classical music, among much else, was similarly unpredictable. It blurred the boundaries between improvisation and composition, often ignoring standard form, and was famous for its rapid shifts in mood and tempo.

Handwritten John Coltrane


The great jazz saxophone player John Coltrane was born 87 years ago today. To mark the occasion we present this rare document from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History: Coltrane’s handwritten outline of his groundbreaking jazz composition A Love Supreme.

Recorded in December of 1964 and released in 1965, A Love Supreme is Coltrane’s personal declaration of his faith in God and his awareness of being on a spiritual path. “No road is an easy one,” writes Coltrane in a prayer at the bottom of his own liner notes for the album, “but they all go back to God.”

If you click the image above and examine a larger copy of the manuscript, you will notice that Coltrane has written the same sentiment at the bottom of the page. “All paths lead to God.” The piece is made up of a progression of four suites. The names for each section are not on the manuscript, but Coltrane eventually called them “Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance” and “Psalm.”

In the manuscript, Coltrane writes that the “A Love Supreme” motif should be “played in all keys together.” In the recording of “Acknowledgement,” Coltrane indeed repeats the basic theme near the end in all keys, as if he were consciously exhausting every path.

McCoy Tyner Trio, Just Feeling, 1986


McCoy Tyner Trio plus Freddie Hubbard & Joe Henderson
Jazz Ost-West 1986

McCoy Tyner – piano
Avery Sharpe – bass
Louis Hayes – drums