April 2, 2008 Playlist

 The Jazz Roots of Psych Rock
"Impressions" by John Coltrane (1963)
John Coltrane  "Impressions"  rec. 1961-63, rel. 1963 (USA)
The theme of this week's show is "jazz music that influenced psychedelic & progressive rock", and without a doubt one of the most important jazz figures from that perspective is John Coltrane.  Reknowned for his "sheets of sound" style of rapid modal playing on the saxophone, Trane's music was "trippy" before trippy was invented, and his influence on psych rock arguably greater than any other jazz figure.  Some famous examples include the modal jam during the bridge section on The Doors "Light My Fire" (referenced in a very ham-handed way in Oliver Stone's movie about the band), and Roger McGuinn's noble attempt to translate Trane riffs to the electric guitar on "Eight Miles High".  Impressions from 1963 is one of Coltrane's more notably "proto-psych" albums,  highlighted by two fine jams recorded at the Village Vanguard in 1961 when Eric Dolphy was in his band.  The next year, his classic  A Love Supreme album set a new standard in groovy modern jazz, though nothing could be more "far-out" than his cacophonous Om album from 1965 (based on Hindu chanting and rumoured to have been recorded under the influence of LSD!)  Trane died at the height of his popularity in 1967 -- had he lived, it's not hard to imagine him a couple years later playing gigs at the Fillmore with the Dead or the Allmans (just like his old boss Miles Davis wound up doing after he added electronic instruments to his band.)   
Here's a video clip of Coltrane and Dolphy playing the title track to this album, "Impressions", and here's Trane playing his signature modal/proto-raga number, "My Favorite Things" (watch out, the volume is really high on this one!)  Plus, here's a clip of the truly unique Thelonious Sphere Monk playing one of his signature tunes, "Round About Midnight".  And how could I not include a clip of one of Miles Davis' amazing electric bands?  Here he is at the massive Isle of Wight festival in 1970.
Artist Song Album Year Country
Miles Davis Moja pts. 1 & 2 (live) Dark Magus: Live At Carnegie hall rec. 1974 USA
John Coltrane (with Eric Dolphy) India (live) Impressions
rec. 1961 USA
John Coltrane (with Eric Dolphy) Impressions (live) Impressions
rec. 1961 USA
John Coltrane Spiral Giant Steps 1959 USA
Thelonious Monk Boo Boo's Birthday Underground 1968 USA
Eric Dolphy G.W. Outward Bound 1960 USA
Rahsaan Roland Kirk The Inflated Tear The Inflated Tear 1968 USA
Cecil Taylor Enter, Evening (Soft Line Structure) Unit Structures 1966 USA
Charles Mingus
A Foggy Day Pithecanthropus Erectus
Roscoe Mitchell The Little Suite Sound 1966 USA
Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra Eve Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth rel. 1966 USA
Herbie Hancock Sly Head Hunters 1973 USA
Wayne Shorter
(with John McLaughlin & Sonny Sharrock)
Swee-Pea Super Nova 1969 USA
Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin) Trilogy The Lost Trident Sessions rec. 1973 USA
Sonny & Linda Sharrock Gary's Step Paradise 1975 USA
Ornette Coleman Theme From A Symphony - Variation 2 Dancing In Your Head 1977 USA
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