Sunday, December 19, 2010

John Coltrane

John ColtraneCassettes were always a bit flaky, even in the predigital age. They were subject to hiss, which was largely, but not entirely, eradicated by the Dolby B noise reduction system, they were subject to (get this) wow and flutter, a term to measure (often not so) miniscule speed variations (as you can guess, wow was when it slowed down, flutter when it sped up), and the mechanism could deteriorate – the tape could tear or get caught in the spindle of the tape deck, the little spongy thing that held the tape in place would come lose, and, if used with equipment that was not maintained properly, the tape would get magnetized and the sound would deteriorate.

But tapes had one big advantage over LPs – you could make your own. And so was born the “mix tape.” I loved doing mix tapes (duh). I still do them, but I admit, even I do it digitally now.

But as I say, when they went bad they really went bad, and so it was that the collection by John Coltrane that I borrowed from the West Kildonan Library was bad – really bad. The sound was thin, like it had been recorded from another room – another building perhaps – and on one side only one channel worked.

But being the compulsive headcase that I am, that didn’t stop me from preserving it, and making it a part of my John Coltrane collection. I still have the copy of course, and it still sounds terrible, but at least I’ve supplemented it with a copy of The Essential John Coltrane, and I may even have a copy of the A Love Supreme album somewhere in its entirety. The other part of this collection is simply The Best Of John Coltrane, which features some of his pre – Love Supreme stuff.

John Coltrane:

Traneing In – A live version
A Love Supreme – His classic. This is a live version.

  1. Acknowlegement
  2. Resolution
  3. Persuance
  4. Psalm

My Favourite Things – Proof positive that even the dippiest song can be transformed into the coolest music in the world.
Giant Steps
Cousin Mary – Not the Fludd song.
Central Park West

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