Two absolute legends recorded onto one album? Look no further. The great pianist Duke Ellington and the saxophonist extraordinaire John Coltrane duel it out on one album together back in 1963. Surely, this will be an exciting listen for those who love the sounds of Jazz. Still, how does it sound? Let’s find out.
In A Sentimental Mood begins with some expressive piano and some nicely precise drum rolls. John Coltrane enters on saxophone, and this piece gets underway. From the start, we have an audio-visual Jazz music classic that sounds really brilliant. This is how real Jazz is done, ladies and gents. A slow burning and sensual listen, this does sound really awesome and unique. This is a true timeless classic in the world of Jazz, and many agree that this is the case upon hearing this. Unlike some Jazz, it does not go on excessively long to bore one. This piece changes tempo in the second half, whilst the piano genius that is Duke Ellington does his thing. A wonderful and expressive listen from start to finish, this is a great creation for sure. A very nice tune to listen to after a hard day’s work, this is classy. Good work guys. It ends with a simple piano melody and some dramatic snare drum rolls, nice work.
Take The Coltrane is a good pun title for a tune like this. It begins with a good, upbeat Jazzy sound and call-and-response from the two main players, before going into a gloriously excellent piece of piano playing. This is followed by sleazy saxophone by John Coltrane. This is very much like something that is Pink Panther theme music territory here, it just sounds really swell and excellently played. In the early 1960s, there was no automation, autotune, digital mixing or multitrack recording. Instead, there were some great Jazz recordings based purely on performance, and this is one of them. Extra points must also go to the drummer here, followed by some excellent nimble double bass playing. A really impressive and awesome listen throughout, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane fight for recognition and space on this landmark recording. In other words, this is sensationally awesome. A dramatic and different listen from start to finish, it ends with a load of chaotic drum rolls. Excellent.
Big Nick is up next and is a slower piece that exudes personality and Jazzy brilliance. This is much like Jazz Pop except that except for vocals, there is a main saxophone melody leading the melodic path through this piece. In any case, this is top notch, yet again. A beautiful and lovely sounding tune, this is really pretty and wonderful music to listen to on a Jazz basis, when the mood strikes. The drumming becomes expressive in the middle of the tune before more Jazz saxophone enters. Soon enough, Duke Ellington plays a nice piano solo which is upbeat and individualistic. If you love Jazz and have not heard this yet, you must do so. This is intelligent, inspired and amazing music in the key of life. A really decent effort, towards the end this slows down and concludes gently. Great work.
Stevie is up next, and begins with some hi-hat led drumming and more cheerful piano from Duke Ellington. This, again, is essential listening for Jazz music fans and it sounds crisp, clear and fantastic to this day. A really awesome and fine tune crafted here, John Coltrane plays a great saxophone solo that blows your mind away in the best fashion possible. A really pretty and dramatic tune to listen to, this is sensual and loveable. The playing on the saxophone is very much shred on the instrument, except that it is a wind instrument, not a guitar being played here. A dramatic, bold and interesting tune to listen to, this should give many Jazz fans something to put on repeat. Pleasant and great listening, the artistic and upbeat piano part at the end is very good, with a repeated section to finish off with. Good stuff.
My Little Brown Book begins with some super sweet and gorgeous piano fills, followed by hi-hat drumming and soon enough, some gorgeous saxophone. A really cool, smooth and interesting tune to listen to, this is not hardcore frenetic Jazz of the sort that is really uptempo. Instead, the band takes time to let Duke Ellington and John Coltrane shine bright. Definitely pleasant sounding and amazing, this is a real treat of an album (and tune) to listen to. John Coltrane in particular shines bright on this track, playing a very expressive part. Duke Ellington follows subtly just behind, playing a smooth, smokey melody to fit the tune. Even if you are not a huge fan of Jazz based music, this tune is a real winner for one to hear. A forward thinking and excellent listening experience, this is joyous and intricate, without being overly intrusive to the listening ear. A great piano part by Duke Ellington concludes this track very nicely, along with some loose double bass notes. Great.
Angelica begins with a catchy drum beat, some glorious and joyful sounding piano that sounds tight and Jazzy. This is a nice pseudo-Jazz Pop piece that is matched by a very perfect performance. There are no vocals present on this tune, however. Soon enough, some very tuneful and pleasant saxophone from John Coltrane enters which fits the piece perfectly. A really decent, thorough and forward thinking piece of music, the collaboration between Duke Ellington and John Coltrane was no doubt successful. This is a more structured and orderly sounding instrumental, but it still fits the album with style and grace. One of the most underrated and not talked about Jazz albums out there, this sounds fantastic. A thoroughly great listen, and something to put on repeat listens. This is super good, and it sounds very, very superb. A great combination of performance and class, this is a fantastic effort. Duke Ellington adds a touch of piano to this tune towards the end, which makes things sound much better. It eventually leads to a subtle conclusion and a fade out, great music.
The Feeling Of Jazz is the last track to listen to. It begins with a repeated piano melody, before entering into a decent, swinging tune. Again, this is ridiculously good and very underrated music. It sounds quite amazing and detailed in all aspects of performance and playing, just blowing away all those who hear this amazing Jazz recording. A fine, excellent and wonderfully executed piece of music, this sounds super good and brilliant to listen to. Need a Jazzy mood booster? This should help. A really pretty and lovely tune to hear, this sounds incredibly gorgeous and amazing. Perfect for that nicely cooked steak and red wine dinner with your partner, this exudes classiness and brilliance. A joyous and wonderful tune for that perfect mood setter, indeed, this is the feeling of Jazz. Two greats and their mates worked together to show the world this brilliant music. A great listen indeed, and another classic tune from this album. Some subdued playing is repeated at the end, before concluding. Excellent.
A truly underrated classic album that is a short, sharp shock of Jazz perfection. If you wish to hear the perfect mixture of saxophone and piano driven Jazz which is really pleasant to hear, this is a good starting point. For any Jazz fan, this should be in your collection. A great album that is worth hearing on repeat.