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  1. #1

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    I love Coltrane, but I tend to like the early, and the late stuff, GIant Steps, Countdown etc, to me, it's just way way too much harmonic information passing by quickly... maybe one day I'll change my mind, but it never really sounds good to me... but I feel like he found his thing after his quartet was in full swing...
    Like every time I hear somebody play Giant Steps, I can appreciate how difficult it is, but I just never hear melody that i enjoy

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by patshep
    I love Coltrane, but I tend to like the early, and the late stuff, GIant Steps, Countdown etc, to me, it's just way way too much harmonic information passing by quickly... maybe one day I'll change my mind, but it never really sounds good to me... but I feel like he found his thing after his quartet was in full swing...
    Like every time I hear somebody play Giant Steps, I can appreciate how difficult it is, but I just never hear melody that i enjoy
    I agree. I like earlier Coltrane better too. I Hear Rhapsody is one of my fav.

    From Giant Steps album the one tune I think is the best is this one:

    But no one ever talks about it, so I guess I have a strange taste in jazz.

    I used to listen to Giant Steps and Love Supreme a lot, because everyone was telling me how great it is and I must get it. But it was more research thing for me, as I understand now, it's ok to like different things.

  4. #3

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    Pro tip - pick a key and stick to it.

  5. #4

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  6. #5

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    I like the melody of "Giant Steps." I tire of the soloing soon enough though.

    I think Coltrane played melodies wonderfully. (His "My One And Only Love" with Johnny Hartman is one of the greatest things I've ever heard.)

    A drummer I knew years ago described Coltrane's later work thus: "He ran out of horn, man."

  7. #6

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    I think if you somehow had never heard of Coltrane, never heard him shred those changes, and someone played it through once on a piano, you'd think "ah, nice academic exercise".

    Coltrane himself didn't seem to play it live much (if at all). Partly I'm sure because he was restless and went into modal land, then free jazz land, but he did continue to play some tunes from his early career live.

    In the end, it is a catchy and ingenious academic exercise, and in the right hands, it can be a moving piece of music (not in the "Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye" heart-ripping kind of way, more in a "Confirmation" mind-exploding kind of way).

    It seems to me a mountain that some players feel the need to climb, but I don't see it as import to jazz history as, for example, the vocabulary Parker introduced through bebop. I'm sure it's fun to play, and gets played in lots of jam sessions for that reason, but in 500 years, I don't think people will say "it completely changed the course of hard bop and all jazz beyond". I can image people in that far off time talking much more about "Speak No Evil" than "Giant Steps" in terms of artistic achievement.

    BTW, this parody version on Youtube is pretty hilarious. Without the key changes, it kind of sounds like bagpipe music.


  8. #7

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    Let’s face it, Giant Steps isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What were we, 6 years old when it arrived on the scene? Coltrane blew everyone away when it was released. Most wouldn’t dare try to play it because they couldn’t handle the changes. Heck, Tommy Flanagan admittedly struggled with the changes.

  9. #8

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    It’s a meme now...

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    Coltrane’s influence on the BeeGees is often overlooked.

  11. #10

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    Trombone did okay :-)

  12. #11

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    I don't like the sound of coltrane changes...

    Neither do I, as it happens. Could never quite see the point of them.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Trombone did okay :-)
    It’s on the YouTube channel of this trombonist so I assume he created the whole thing and played the trombone solo:

    Ilja Reijngoud - Wikipedia

  14. #13

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    I like GS, it is logical and flows smoothly., especially at more relaxed tempos. I don’t like Countdown and 26-2
    Last edited by rintincop; 09-12-2020 at 06:21 PM.

  15. #14

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    I like GS. Especially as a bossa or a ballad. Coltrane made a great solo on it, basically recycling 3 devices over and over . I also like the bridge of Have You Met Miss Jones, which is like GS.

  16. #15
    I feel like he had to take bebop to the ultimate extreme before he found himself... I feel like "Crescent" was where he really had found his sound.

  17. #16
    Personally, I think Giant Steps is a catchy tune. I am generally not a fan of his later work but I generally prefer non-modal stuff.

    Don't get me wrong, if I am in the right mood I totally love listening to Coltrane's layer works, but I don't find myself in that mood often.

  18. #17

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    I was assuming the thread meant playing some very odd subs for common progressions, i.e.

    Dm7/Eb7 - Ab/B7 - E/G7 - C

    instead of

    Dm7 - G7 - C - %

    which seems to me unnecessarily tortuous.

    I don't mind Giant Steps although I can't play it. I once did a nice slow version of it (to the accompaniment of swimming fish) and discovered it was actually a very tuneful progression :-)

    Last edited by ragman1; 09-12-2020 at 08:31 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    It’s on the YouTube channel of this trombonist so I assume he created the whole thing and played the trombone solo:

    Ilja Reijngoud - Wikipedia
    There seems to be some dispute over this and that. There's no mention of it on IR's discography on any site. There are these two sites:

    Giant Steps - BeeGees cover [not real (I imagine)] : Jazz

    What's New: Giant Steps and the Bee Gees

    You're much better than me at sniffing things out, though!

  20. #19

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    Giant Steps is also a benchmark standard. A professional jazz musician should be able to blow over giant steps changes, IMO.

  21. #20

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    giant steps is easy compared to Countdown and 26-2 and Satellite and such.

    I like Steps, it's catchy, and once you figure out an approach on it, it's just fast.

  22. #21

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    Once you eventually learn to blow over it, it's the greatest tune in the world, but it's the one tune your wife hates, and calls it "tuneless nonsense". You spend years trying to "educate" her into appreciating how amazingly difficult it is, and then a few more years accepting the possible realisation that perhaps she was right all along ...

  23. #22

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    Yes, yes, yes, but just because it's really, really difficult doesn't mean it isn't tuneless nonsense!!!

    (I don't think it's tuneless nonsense but it is more like an exercise than a good tune. I mean, it's not Over The Rainbow, is it?)

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    There seems to be some dispute over this and that. There's no mention of it on IR's discography on any site. There are these two sites:

    Giant Steps - BeeGees cover [not real (I imagine)] : Jazz

    What's New: Giant Steps and the Bee Gees

    You're much better than me at sniffing things out, though!
    well I expect he did it just for a laugh on YouTube, it wouldn’t be in his discography. It’s quite easy to do this sort of thing with some fancy software nowadays.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    well I expect he did it just for a laugh on YouTube.

    It's so much more than a laugh .. It's the jazz communities exposed .. It an oldie but goodie .. It's just stellar on so many levels

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Yes, yes, yes, but just because it's really, really difficult doesn't mean it isn't tuneless nonsense!!!

    (I don't think it's tuneless nonsense but it is more like an exercise than a good tune. I mean, it's not Over The Rainbow, is it?)
    you are right. Instead it makes it nonsense, that Coltrane even itself is incapable to create a meaningful impro on it, and use repetions in such an excess, his repeated motive presented more than once in average in every chorus... that is is a shame, or call it arrogance.Not talking about Tommy Flanagen, who is usually excellent, always adds something to a recording, here he practically uncapable to catch a tempo and say any meaninglees

  27. #26

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    Coltrane plays on all these albums in his previous periods, with some of the best bebop players of his era, where he plays double time solos.. You can see his urge to go somewhere else with his playing. His multi-tonics gave birth to a whole era of jazz, players, and "post Coltrane" improvisational style. There is a lot of theory and mathematics in his approach, but his spirituality and where he was coming from balances it beautifully (which has not always the case with other players following his style).

    I think whether one likes the sound or not is kind of an acquired taste, but of course a taste non the less. To me these tunes only made playing sense after i 've been practicing them daily for months (years?). He is my favorite player ever..

    Berklee college library has the works of a japanese student that has transcribed everything Coltrane has ever recorded, believe it or not! Hand written but in excellent quality, and i think done in a time where you couldn't easily slow down recordings. Books and books of it, (i copied a lot of them and found the ones i've played through to be very accurate). Talk about dedication!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    well I expect he did it just for a laugh on YouTube, it wouldn’t be in his discography. It’s quite easy to do this sort of thing with some fancy software nowadays.
    Well, it certainly sounds artificial although IK seems to be a serious sort of person.

    He's certainly got a serious name :-)

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Well, it certainly sounds artificial although IK seems to be a serious sort of person.

    He's certainly got a serious name :-)
    He manipulated the original recording to reharmonise the pitches, probably using software like this:

    Celemony Software - Wikipedia

  30. #29

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    Someone gave The Doors a similar kind of makeover:


  31. #30

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    Another version by Ilja:


  32. #31

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    i did this with a sequencer (cubase) and samples....retro flute..

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Someone gave The Doors a similar kind of makeover:

    Hehe, even the thunder had it's minor third shifted up a semitone ...

  34. #33

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    I like the earlier Coltrane. But I'm much more in the lyrical camp with players like Mulligan and Hodges.

    I find that what Coltrane got into gets a lot of non-jazz fans thinking that is what jazz is and they don't like the raucous and apparently unfocused style. Far too many jazz musicians end up going in that direction and that simply promotes the inexperienced jazz listener to believe they are correct. Jazz is just a bunch of fast, aimless notes.

  35. #34

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    I have heard it described in similar ways to the description in this excerpt from Wiki:

    David Demsey, saxophonist and coordinator of jazz studies at William Paterson University, cites a number of influences leading to Coltrane's development of these changes. After Coltrane's death it was proposed that his "preoccupation with... chromatic third-relations" was inspired by religion or
    spirituality, with three equal key areas having numerological significance representing a "magic triangle", or, "the trinity, God, or unity." However, Demsey shows that though this meaning was of some importance, third relationships were much more "earthly", or rather historical, in origin.

    ---------------------------------


    Perhaps, more than just a challenging set of changes.



  36. #35

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    It is a very satisfying piece of music, so long as you do not try to play it.

  37. #36

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    Trane himself never played GS at a gig himself. He viewed it as an exercise, but felt that the major 3rd progression was okay to use at slower tempos, or as a turnaround at faster tempos, according to the book, "John Coltrane on John Coltrane".

    And yet, like lemmings, everyone had to make an initiation rite out of it, as in "if you cant play GS at 320, you can't play off changes". BS.
    I spent a month or so one summer playing GS at 320BPM, till I could do it in my sleep. Then I went to a jam session, and I couldn't play anything else but GS!

    The amount of time I spent working on GS at 320, just playing the patterns, stopped the all important connection between my ears and my fingers. I couldn't even play a blues when they called one! It took me a few days to get back to playing what I hear again.
    Many great musicians like Bob Brookmeyer, have said that GS at that tempo is BS. This is what it leads to:

  38. #37

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    grahambop -

    Okay, I suppose I'm mildly convinced :-)

  39. #38

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  40. #39

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    Giant steps was the first Coltrane tune I heard , I was about 15 years old . I didn't know that it was clever or technically challenging , I just thought that it was the most exciting thing I'd ever heard .

  41. #40

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    Trane himself never played GS at a gig himself. He viewed it as an exercise
    Mmm, hope for him yet :-)

  42. #41

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  43. #42

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  44. #43

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    Pat Metheny did a wonderful version of it with a bossa type feel.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Clare
    Pat Metheny did a wonderful version of it with a bossa type feel.
    yes I think that’s a good way to play it.


  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Coltrane plays on all these albums in his previous periods, with some of the best bebop players of his era, where he plays double time solos.. You can see his urge to go somewhere else with his playing. His multi-tonics gave birth to a whole era of jazz, players, and "post Coltrane" improvisational style. There is a lot of theory and mathematics in his approach, but his spirituality and where he was coming from balances it beautifully (which has not always the case with other players following his style).

    I think whether one likes the sound or not is kind of an acquired taste, but of course a taste non the less. To me these tunes only made playing sense after i 've been practicing them daily for months (years?). He is my favorite player ever..

    Berklee college library has the works of a japanese student that has transcribed everything Coltrane has ever recorded, believe it or not! Hand written but in excellent quality, and i think done in a time where you couldn't easily slow down recordings. Books and books of it, (i copied a lot of them and found the ones i've played through to be very accurate). Talk about dedication!
    that Japanese dude who did all those transcriptions did them for other students like you. I agree, that Coltrane is an acquired taste and people here are guitar players who came along long after Coltrane was dead and buried. Coltrane has a fairly large profile of recorded music. If you can’t find something you like, I dunno, maybe like the duo with Johnny Hartman, let’s face it, you’re just a Coltrane hater who couldn’t carry his water. That’s putting it politely.

  47. #46

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    Surprised no one mentioned this one, always partial to it


  48. #47

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    Giant Steps to me is a very large gourmet meal to be eaten very slowly and thoroughly..

    I take the first five notes of the melody and use chord forms that work with the changes..at a very slow tempo..or completely out of time..

    break it down ..intervals..scales..substitutions..inversions..ke y changes

    you begin to see the thinking JC put into this tune..

    the "need to play it at tempo" is usually what keeps people from even trying to play it..

    breaking it down into small bites and really understand the melodic/harmonic movement .. it can then be a fun piece to play at any tempo

  49. #48

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    Coltrane was the first jazz I ever really loved, but it wasn’t Giant Steps etc. It was his ballad playing, his perfect ballad playing and those hypnotic modal things.

  50. #49

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    Why is this thread in the theory forum? I seems more like Chit Chat topic.

  51. #50

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    Coltrane was the first jazz I ever really loved, but it wasn’t Giant Steps etc.
    I concur but for me it was Sun Ship. The open/circular feeling of the
    rhythm the suspended harmonies and the pure emotion and energy of Coltrane's saxophone.