Geek Smithology

August 27, 2005

MP3otW – My Favorite Things by John Coltrane

Filed under: MP3 of the Week by Nathan @ 11:23 pm

John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things: a landmark for Coltrane and a landmark for jazz. Few have heard of it [1]. Fewer still have heard it. Is it because a lot of people don’t get jazz? I used to not get jazz. Then I realised there was nothing to get, and now I get jazz.

I think a lot of people are intimidated by jazz fans, because they make wine connoisseurs look like Bud swilling wresting fans in comparison. But you know what? You can drink a bottle of wine and like it without knowing where it came from, or how old it is, or which grape is dominant [2]. So with that in mind, set aside 15 minutes in your busy day, turn this up, sit back, and just listen. Notice how you can marvel at the solos without caring about how Coltrane was recently influenced by Miles Davis’ experiments in modality. Notice how you can feel a tight rhythm section without knowing that influential jazz pianist McCoy Tyner is on keys, or that this was Steve Davis, not Jimmy Garrison, on bass. Note how you can feel the swing without caring that Coltrane put this in 6/8 time (instead of 3/4) and used 10 bars for the verse (instead of 8.)

Doobie doo wah, folks, doobie doo wah.

[1] And if you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because it inspired Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek to lay down that extended musical musing in Light My Fire.

[2] Before I get any hate mail, let me express that learning all this stuff about wine or jazz, or anything else you care to appreciate does significantly increase your enjoyment. I’m merely stating that this shouldn’t be a barrier to entry – it should never be a crime to just like something without a litany of justifications for it (if that were true, nobody could say they like Mulholland Drive.)

One response to “MP3otW – My Favorite Things by John Coltrane”

  1. Jenn says:

    I know you posted this a long time ago, but I love John Coltrane. My friend & I listened to this album (yes, it was an LP then) alot in high school.

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