Stellar Regions

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Stellar Regions
Studio album by John Coltrane
Released October 10, 1995
Recorded February 15, 1967
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
Genre Free Jazz
Length 60:48
Label Impulse!
IMP 169
Producer Bob Thiele
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Stellar Regions is a posthumous release by John Coltrane, discovered in 1994 by the artist's wife, Alice Coltrane, who plays the piano on the session. Alice Coltrane is also responsible for the titles of the eight numbers featured on the album, and the record itself can be considered a lost-tapes album, since it was not found for nearly three decades.

The material on the album is not entirely previously unreleased: the same take of "Offering" was first issued on Coltrane's final studio album, Expression. Also, the track entitled "Stellar Regions" on this album is an early version of "Venus", first released in 1974 on the sax-drums duo album, Interstellar Space. Stellar Regions was recorded the week prior to the session that gave rise to that album, and features many similar note choices and runs; indeed, the "Venus" solo is also presaged here by portions of "Offering" and "Sun Star". The former song and also "Tranesonic" anticipate the fascination with polyrhythm and spare, duo arrangements that would dominate the Interstellar Space sessions. This is one of Coltrane's most accessible later albums: the numbers are brief and distinctly structured. But the fact that Coltrane did not title this material leaves in doubt how much of it he ultimately intended to release.

The album features Rashied Ali on drums and Jimmy Garrison on bass. Several pieces are notable for their European-like sense of tonality ("Jimmy's Mode"), quite at odds with Coltrane's usual work in the blues idiom.[citation needed] Garrison's bass is often bowed, unusual for him and for Coltrane, lending an orchestral majesty to material like "Seraphic Light". There are a couple of blues-based and atonal numbers as well.

Some critics and musicians, including British free jazz saxophonist Evan Parker and Coltrane biographer Lewis Porter, have argued that Coltrane is playing an alto saxophone - something he did very rarely after 1946 - on both versions of "Tranesonic".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Seraphic Light" – 8:57
  2. "Sun Star" – 6:08
  3. "Stellar Regions" – 3:34
  4. "Iris" – 3:53
  5. "Offering" – 8:22
  6. "Configuration" – 4:03
  7. "Jimmy's Mode" – 6:00
  8. "Tranesonic" – 4:17
  9. "Stellar Regions" [Alternate Take] – 4:40
  10. "Sun Star" [Alternate Take] – 8:05
  11. "Tranesonic" [Alternate Take] – 2:49

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. Stellar Regions - John Coltrane at AllMusic. Retrieved 20 June 2012.