My Favorite Things
Extra Tracks, Remastered
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My Favorite Things (Special Edition)
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Atlantic is one of the most revered jazz labels, and Rhino is proud to honor their 50th anniversary with a series of deluxe reissues of five historic and essential jazz albums. Each reissue contains the original record as released in state-of-the-art digital remastering from the original tapes, bonus tracks, and new liner notes in packaging that reproduces the original LP cover. The upgrade in quality with all the extras make these required listening for all serious music fans and great primers for beginners.Along with "Giant Steps," "My Favorite Things" is Trane's most influential album, the full flowering of his mighty playing. Contains the special single mix of "Favorite Things"!
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he released six great albums that topped the jazz charts, embarked on a European
tour with unique success, switched over to ABC Records Impulse! label (owned by
Verve) and even enjoyed his crossover hit on both the jazz and pop charts with this
exquisite version of this lovely song from The Sound Of Music. My Favorite Things
became among of the first crossover jazz albums (along with Dave Brubeck’s Time
Out from 1960) to get critical and commercial success in the early-1960’s when the
title track became a Top Ten hit on the singles charts in the jazz and pop charts as
it resulted in another landmark success for Coltrane himself with rewarding results.
Beginning with the deeply fascinating title track, the stunning track set proceed with
mesmerizing skill and confidence on several other long, extended takes on classic
standards like Every Time We Say Goodbye, Summertime and But Not For Me, as
Coltrane and the quartet performed them in a passionately and tastefully executed
manner, while the single version of the title track (in two parts) adds to the restored
merriment. Although it is seemingly impossible to comprehend, My Favorite Things
is a remarkable landmark jazz session where each track is a joy to revisit, to whom
McCoy Tyner brings on the superb piano solos while Elvin Jones add to the evoca-
tive drum solos with satisfying results that make this a classic defining moment.
The album contains only four pieces, kicking off with the title track. If you know the cheesy but enormously successful 1965 Rogers and Hammerstein film "The Sound of Music" and hate it with a passion, don't be put off by the fact that Trane's young quartet lifts one of its best-known songs (in 1960 it was only a stage musical playing on Broadway) as the title-track. Richard Rodgers' original melody is the start-point: the band ups the tempo and re-works the piece with vision and creative brilliance into something extraordinary. Devoid of lyrics, Trane's sublime soprano sax substitutes for the vocal line and alternates with the superlative piano skills of McCoy Tyner to weave a driving, listener-involving improvisation on the basic melody for more than 10 minutes: the result bears little resemblance to the simplistic song from the original musical and reinforces the oft-quoted contention that in jazz, the basic source material can be almost anything and the musician interpreting and improvising on the piece is everything that matters. Listen to this a couple of times and Julie Andrews' Sister Maria will never sound the same again, I promise.
"Every Time We Say Goodbye" calms down the mood with a slower tempo which allows the band to stretch out more. Trane fills this lyrical piece with long cascades of notes, stays close to the melody and at the same time introduces a new dynamic which is (don't mean this to sound pretentious, but...) almost spiritually sublime. He played sax like an expressive singer might use his voice.
"Summertime" follows the style of the title track in upping the tempo of Gershwin's famous tune, infusing energy and dynamic inventiveness. The interplay between the members of the band is most evident here, as everyone joins in the party and becomes involved. Contrast what Trane's quartet does with this piece with Miles' cleaner, more relaxed take on his Gil Evans collaboration "Porgy and Bess".
In "But Not for Me," again the tempo is increased and a complex tapestry of improvisation is woven towards darker and moodier territory than usually inhabited by Gershwin's original. As always the band is tight and intuitive, creating the feeling in the listener of a restless soul in self-analysis, interlocking and interplaying until the conflict is resolved.
This band sure could play, and they're great to listen to. Relaxing - probably not, but enjoyable and rewarding - definitely. As a counterpoint and compliment to "Kind of Blue" (the one jazz album everyone in the world should have in their music collection) you couldn't do better. MFT is more insistent, focussed, daring; one feels Trane often has to reel himself in from a kind of spirit-possession to bring these extraordinary and groundbreaking musical journeys to orderly conclusion.
There is a story that Trane once asked advice from Miles Davis about the best way to disengage from extensive improvisation on the sax and come back to the melody, how to end the "soul possession" of the journey and return to ground. Miles is said to have thought for a moment and then, ever the grounded, practical minimalist, famously declared: "Just take the mother...... out of your mouth."