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Ascension- COltrane

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by sargebaker, Oct 18, 2005.


  1. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    What do you guys think of this album? I just bought it and got through my first listen. So far however all I can think is White Noise, there seems to be so much going on and all structure just lost into a black abyss. I really would be curious to hear how it sounds with less musicians, or at least less horn players.

    This album is a monument of jazz so in a few listens I'll probably "get it" and my opinion will change.
     
  2. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    A shock to the senses...still after all these years?
    I first heard a snippet in '76 or so & couldn't take it. Every so often, I would try it again. Maybe '96 or so, I began to dig it. Now, I love it...

    Ascension needs all those musicians...it was Coltrane's 'answer' to Ornette's double 4-tet Free Jazz 'experiment'.
     
  3. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    It takes time. Jost's book, Free Jazz, has a pretty extensive analysis of it if I remember correctly. Might be worth a look.
     
  4. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    I love it!! Like Jim said...it took me a few times. The perfect antidote for smooth jazz. :D
     
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    abstinance works for me ;)
     
  6. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I like it. Not something I would play for a get-together, but great for when I want something different.
     
  7. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    heh I was waiting for your reply, was expecting something a little more in depth :spit:





    :D
     
  8. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    anyone else?
     
  9. Ostinato

    Ostinato Guest

    Feb 7, 2005
    Toronto ON
    Beautiful. Anthemic. A great recording for re-calibrating the synapses.

    :bag:
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well there are plenty of other Coltrane albums that you could have started with and which I'd rather listen to - like Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, Favourite Things etc. etc. Not to mention all the albums he played on with other Jazz greats....

    It would be way down my list of essential Jazz purchases...?
     
  11. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    I would not recommend Ascension as a first Coltrane album/listen.
    I wouldn'rt really recommend Bitches Brew as a first Miles' album, either.
    Sarge...was this the 1st time you tried Coltrane?
    If so, you're a brave man.
     
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I must admit I've never listened to Ascension as I have been put off by reviews saying that the playing isn't that good - I remember comments about what people thought Free Jazz ought to sound like if they had learned about it at college and how some of the playing just peters out aimlessly....?

    And as I say there are so many truly great Jazz albums to buy - I've got thousands of Jazz albums and still feel I'm only scratching the surface of a definitive Jazz collection...:meh:
     
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    That's why your my hero Bruce. ;)
     
  14. Coward Of Reali

    Coward Of Reali

    Oct 13, 2003
    I prefer Meditations. It sounds like they're playing in the bowels of hell.
     
  15. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I started w/ Giant Steps and in terms of Miles I started on Kind of Blue didn't dig it much and then went to Bitches Brew which I'm convinced is "my album" In fact I was never able to much get into the classic "acoustic miles" but his fusion stuff slays me, I can't even describe how it makes me feel.

    As far as Kind of Blue goes I really like "So What", the first sax solo gives me chills everytime i hear it! I was just never able to fully appreciate the rest of the album, like it's never made me go "OMFG this is the best jazz album ever..." :meh: It'll probably come with time.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    I don't think it's the best Jazz album ever - it's just the most popular Jazz album ever!

    The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - which is my favourite reference - has Miles' "Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel" as the best Jazz album ever!!


    But here's a list of their top Jazz recordings :


    http://www.counterpoint-music.com/5star.html
     
  17. Coward Of Reali

    Coward Of Reali

    Oct 13, 2003
    Live at the plugged nickel is amazing.
     
  18. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ascension, Free Jazz, and Live at the Plugged Nickel are recordings of muscians trying to accomplish the same goal -- to reinvent music. Same with Bitches Brew. Not a lot of that going on these days.

    If you want to hear something that will scare the hell out of you, listen to Coltrane's Om.