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The John Coltrane Companion : Five Decades of Commentary (Companion Series) Paperback – August 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Series: Companion Series
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer Trade Books (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028647904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028647906
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,796,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on December 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an informative book for anyone interested in one of the jazz giants of all times. The book is of particular interest if first person narratives are to your liking since there are several sections with Trane talking about his music. For example, the interview for the Jazz Review in 1958 is as free flowing as the notes that blow through his horn. Also useful is an interview he did for a French magazine entitled Jazz Magazine where his international appeal comes forth. I also enjoyed the interview with Frank Kofsky where Trane explores topics such as Black Nationalism and the then current(60's) social and political relationship between music and politics. There are several sections taken from Downbeat Magazine and notable profiles by Ira Gitler, Ralph Gleason and Nat Hentoff. Although not limited to interviews the book also has various writers give the usual and unusual analysis of his music; there are recolllections from associates in the form of praise and critique. The other sections that deal with reviews of his concerts are interesting but not as riveting as the man in his own words. The breakdown of the recording periods is concise, factual and informative, as is in general the layout and organization of this book . Not intended as a biography this book does a good job of revealing Trane through the eyes of others as well as himself. Recommended for those wanting to go beyond the music; the man in his own words reveals the gentle giant of the saxophone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Smith on February 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a generally useful book for those interested in Coltrane's relatively brief life and musical career, although those already familiar with the saxophonist will find few surprises.
The book gathers together interviews, reminiscences, and critical commentary, as well as discographic and bibliographic references. Of the interviews, one of the best, for me, was a relatively brief one conducted with Bob Thiele, Coltrane's producer at Impulse Records. Thiele speaks in understated, yet moving tones of his relationship with Coltrane and makes clear the admiration he felt for the musician without being in the least bit sentimental. Joe Goldberg, a longtime admirer of Coltrane who became critical of the challenging material Coltrane produced late in his life, also offers a balanced view of the music. Peter Watrous's 1987 retrospective on Coltrane does a nice job of putting Coltrane's career in perspective and convincingly making the argument that Coltrane's music was as compelling 20 years after his death as it was when he was alive.
Another strength of the book are the sections that offer detailed information on each Coltrane release from the three major labels for which he recorded: Prestige, Atlantic and Impulse. Less useful, however, is the discography, which is a selected list. Why not just list everything?
Another weakness lies in the organization, or lack thereof. Sure, the book is divided into critical commentary, Coltrane in his own words, the releases, and so on. But some of the material is repetitive. Comments about his time with Monk, Miles, his practicing regimen, and so on crop up in the same language in different articles. Quotes and stories are recycled as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Coltrane was a great musician, and a huge influence on the jazz music that followed him. This book does an excellent job of compliling interviews and articles that get his insights into the music, but more fascinating, into Coltrane as a person. Coltrane was a spiritual, intelligent and talented man, and both he and his music are sometimes misunderstood. This book lends insight into his goals and motivations. The book tends to get repetitive, however, as many of the same quotes come up time and again. Still, it is a sort of best of so there will be repitition, and has a great chronology and discography.
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By ssbrown33@hotmail. on January 13, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great job; thanks
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