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Om

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 7, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this posthumous 1968 album by the Jazz legend. In October, 1965, Coltrane recorded Om, referring to the sacred syllable in Hindu religion, which symbolizes the infinite or the entire Universe. Coltrane described Om as the "first syllable, the primal word, the word of power".
Song Title Time
1
30
28:56 Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 7, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve Select
  • ASIN: B005VR972E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Is "Om" John Coltrane's worst record? This is a good place to start, because inevitably the Coltrane collector will run into this opinion, if not from fellow listeners then from old reviews and the curious reputation of the record itself. No less than Miles Davis even posits the idea that Coltrane was high on LSD when he recorded this, a tale that started spinning on the record's release, and which may have contributed to its popularity with certain counter culture groups. Some critics simply contend that it's awful simply because it is, and there are suggestions from more than one that Coltrane may have actively rejected the half-hour song, considering it lesser music. All of this seems to reference the odd, spoken-word recitation at the beginning and end of the song, which refers to clarified butter and ends in an unintentionally funny outburst into the word "Om". That, in and of itself, may have been reason enough to reject it, but it's hardly the end of it. To truly understand this relatively harmless burst of energy music, listeners need to listen to all of the recorded music from Coltrane's trip west in the fall of 1965.

In fact, the first place a listener should probably begin in the journey to understand "Om" is with the even-longer piece "Evolution", from Live in Seattle. On this thirty-six minute VERY free piece, Coltrane and crew (consisting of the same musical lineup as this) tear apart their instruments until Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders begin screaming into the microphones. It's a visceral moment, and my guess is that Coltrane wanted to echo it the very next day in the studio, which may explain why he set up this quickie session.
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Format: Audio CD
You really have to take in Coltrane's post "A Love Supreme" work, one album at a time. He was constantly going for something bigger and shattering boundaries along the way. I don't get philosophical on death but I often wonder hearing the last few Coltrane albums where else there was for him to go because there was certainly no going back and the music he was recording at the time was intense as anything recorded since.

"Om" is 28:57 of complete musical chaos. If "Ascension" is too much for you, stop and go back because this only takes it further. If you're ready for the next step though, it's a journey worth taking. I don't know if the LSD rumors are true but I would certainly believe it. Him and Pharoah Sanders were such a great pairing during the free jazz/avant-guard era.Around halfway, McCoy Tyner solos which gives you a few minutes of a break and as him, Jimmy Garrison (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums) try to hold it together the saxes return and slowly build it back up into the bombastic finale of the album before dying down into the chants that open the album.

I can't say this is essential Coltrane and CERTAINLY not where one starts when they are new to the jazz legend but that should be obvious. It is a worthy investment though for the fan like myself who is fascinated at where he was willing to go musically. You couldn't make this album today and that alone makes it worth listening to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Japanese UCCI-9208 SHM edition. A really clean and clear recording. Great dynamic range, frequency response and no detectable noise.
Really creative playing by the musicians. Incredible sparkling percussion. Fantastic and musically harmonious piano by McCoy Tyner. Pharoah Sanders really works out with John Coltrane. Elvin Jones is brilliant as always. Jimmy Garrison puts the deep bass notes into this piece. Seven virtuoso musicians play here. I consider myself fortunate to have found this CD through a Japan CD store associated with Amazon Marketplace.
Unfortunately, the performance is less than 30 minutes. I believe the recording is mastered in the 24 bit 96 kHz system, as the "Best 50" series all were.
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Format: Audio CD
No musician would be allowed to make this at a "record company" today. For that alone it deserves a listen. Coltrane was willing to push the boundaries; take a risk and succeed...or fail. There is nothing more heroic than that. Thank you to all who were involved in making this originally and who make it available today.
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Format: Audio CD
Often called noise by jazz purists, this album is an amazing work from John Coltrane's free period. Yes the music if very free and chaotic, but i like that kind of music. This is not Kenny G jazz, this is free jazz. Yes the whole Eastern religion refrences are a throw back to the 1960s hippie culture, still it works. Again this is not an assecible Coltrane album unlike Kind of Blue or A Love Surpreme. If you prefer his early work, you are not going to like this.
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