JJ 04/63: John Coltrane – Coltrane Time

Sixty years ago Graham Boatfield thought this collectable, but suspected, given Tubby Hayes' disavowal, that Coltrane collecting was over. First published in Jazz Journal April 1963


Back in the old days, there was some excuse for recording companies to plead ignorance, but how any major firm to­day can dare to put out a record with no recording data and with a sleeve note as scrappy and uncommunicative as this one, is quite incomprehensible.

Nothing that Coltrane does, nor has done for some time, is uninteresting, whatever our feelings about the public experimentations. This record represents the classic period of Coltrane’s tenor work, full-toned, doomy and obsessive; if only we had had the chance to hear it on his British tour – vain regret.

Kenny Dorham is as usual staid, sober, a neces­sary foil in this group, his manner rang­ing from a sub-Miles Davis to a very cool flight of bumblebees. Apart from the good men at bass and drums, the slightly Monkish Cecil Taylor performs a variety of piano-searching exercises which are completely in mood but not very conclusive.

I think this is one more record to add to Coltrane col­lections, but not an essential one. Of course, there may not be any Coltrane collections any longer, now that the master has been here and Tubby Hayes has disavowed him on the radio. If so, that is a pity – Coltrane is a great jazz­man.

Shifting Down; Just Friends (18½ min) – Like Someone In Love; Double Clutching (17½ min)
John Coltrane (ten); Kenny Dorham (tpt); Cecil Taylor (p); Chuck Israels (bs); Louis Hayes (d).
(United Artists SULP 1018 12inLP 30s. 11d.)