Q - 10/00, p.1394 stars out of 5
- "...His band was as close as you'd get to a jazz dream team, and when they're good...they smoke, giving their errant master just enough space to really shine..."
Down Beat - 12/00, p.944.5 stars out of 5
- "...This concert finds the classic quartet playing at the breaking point of hard-bop. Everyone's on fire..."
John Coltrane Quartet: John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones.
Archie Shepp Quartet: Archie Shepp, Bobby Hutcherson, Barre Philips, Joe Chambers.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island on July 2, 1965. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.
The original Impulse! LP A NEW THING AT NEWPORT did not include Shepp's "Gingerbread, Gingerbread Boy"--the full version (10:15) is included here.
Producer: Bob Thiele.
Reissue producer: Bryan Koniarz.
Recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Freebody Park, Newport, Rhode Island on July 2, 1965. Includes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.
Digitally remastered by Kevin Reeves (Universal Mastering Studios-East).
Personnel: John Coltrane (soprano & tenor saxophones); Father Norman O'Connor (spoken vocals); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
Personnel: Archie Shepp (spoken vocals, tenor saxophone); Billy Taylor (spoken vocals); Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone); Barre Phillips (bass); Joe Chambers (drums).
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass instrument); Elvin Jones (drum).
In 1965, a breakthrough year for John Coltrane, the great saxophonist began a fervent period of exploration--acting not only as a lightning rod for the emerging free jazz movement, but becoming something of a free jazz patron. Much as he championed the music of Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy, Coltrane now used his enormous popularity to midwife the work of firebrands such as Albert Ayler and young horn players featured on ASCENSION.
Few players benefitted from Coltrane's patronage as much as Florida native Archie Shepp. Coming of age in Philadelphia, Shepp was a veteran of numerous blues and R&B bands when he first came to prominence with Cecil Taylor. Coltrane got him his first contract with Impulse!, leading to Shepp's debut as a leader, FOUR FOR TRANE. A NEW THING AT NEWPORT documents the original Coltrane Quartet, a few months before its dissolution, and a fine edition of the Shepp Quartet.
Coltrane's set straddles stylistic periods, and the aesthetic tension is plain to hear. When Coltrane solos on the elliptical theme to "One Down One Up" and the lyrical incantations of "My Favorite Things," the band takes on a fierce, freewheeling demeanor. The saxophonist stretches his melodic lines to the breaking point, reaching out for the intuitive brand of freedom his younger acolytes were then pursuing. But when Tyner solos, you can hear Garrison and Jones coalesce into the kind of rhythmic juggernaut that initially established the quartet's reputation.
As for Shepp's set, despite the loose ensemble trappings, the saxophonist comes across as a provocative composer with a dark romantic conception--equal parts free jazz, blues and modern theater (check out his recitation on "Skag," the brooding lyricism of "Le Matin Des Noire," the contrasting delicacy and bite of "Call Me By My Rightful"). As the jagged stops and starts of his opener "Rufus" demonstrate, his amorphous melodic conception is firmly rooted in the blues, and his subtle manipulations of embouchure, inflection and pitch paved the for David Murray (and inevitably drew comparisons to Ben Webster).