Personnel: Elvin Jones (drums); Prince Lasha (flute, clarinet); Sonny Simmons (English horn, alto saxophone); Charlie Mariano (alto saxophone); Charles Davis (baritone saxophone); Hank Jones , McCoy Tyner, Roland Hanna (piano).
Liner Note Authors: Joe Lebow; Stephen James.
Recording information: Englewood Cliffs, NJ (02/23/1965); Englewood Cliffs, NJ (02/25/1965); Englewood Cliffs, NJ (08/08/1963).
Photographers: Bob Ghiraldini; Charles Stewart .
This two-fer combines drummer Elvin Jones' 1963 release Illumination and Dear John C., which came out two years later. Originally, these LPs were released separately on Impulse. Illumination is actually credited to Jones and Coltrane quartet alumni Jimmy Garrison and, as it states on the cover, features pianist McCoy Tyner. The music is a bit more "out" than Dear John C., which can be attributed to the addition of the innovative avant-garde musicians Sonny Simmons and Prince Lasha. Dear John C. is a laid-back date featuring alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano, with Roland Hanna, and Elvin's older brother, Hank Jones, splitting piano duties. The music has been remastered and, while there are no bonus tracks or new liner notes, Impulse had the good taste to restore the original packaging: front and back cover art and liner notes. ~ Al Campbell