Friday, May 13, 2016

Collecting Coltrane

Collecting these performances should give you a more complete picture of what we achieved, because there is only so much you can get from a single recording. It's less than an hour, after all. It's an insight, but not the whole picture. Hearing a group night after night, that's where the true picture is. And there were four individuals in the group that could each alter what that picture was. Like when I listened to Monk's quartet at the Five Spot; some nights Wilbur Ware would take over the complete bandstand and you wouldn't hear anyone else but him. Each of those guys could dominate an entire performance. That's the way it is with those who are serious about an art form. You don't ask one painting to tell the complete story of a painter's life, and you can't treat a single album that way either. That's why most people I know who have any Coltrane recordings have all of them. (Elvin Jones, as told to Bob Blumenthal, The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Recordings liner notes, 1998)

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