First Meditations (for quartet)
|First Meditations (for quartet)|
|Studio album by John Coltrane|
September 2, 1965|
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs
|Genre||Avant-garde jazz, Free jazz, Modal jazz|
|The Penguin Guide to Jazz|||
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
First Meditations (for quartet) is an album by John Coltrane recorded on September 2, 1965 and posthumously released in 1977. It is a quartet version of a suite Coltrane would record as Meditations two months later with the additions of Pharoah Sanders as a second tenor saxophone and Rashied Ali on drums. Along with Sun Ship, recorded a week earlier, First Meditations represents the final recordings of Coltrane's classic quartet featuring bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. The "Meditations" suite on this album consists of five movements, and is similar in musical character to the individual pieces on Sun Ship. "Love" and "Serenity" are both free-form pieces with no fixed tempo or chord progression in the traditional jazz sense. "Consequences" is a high-intensity, up tempo piece that closely resembles the title track from Sun Ship, with a theme consisting only of a brief, repetitive staccato phrase, and with an "extreme" solo from Coltrane featuring altissimo-register playing and multiphonics.
In addition to the five movements of the suite, the album also includes an alternate version of "Joy" which was recorded on September 22, 1965. This track is the last known recording of the Coltrane/Tyner/Garrison/Jones quartet, as later recordings all involved other musicians. Tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders joined Coltrane's group beginning with the live Seattle date on September 30 (Live in Seattle) and played on the sextet version of Meditations, recorded November 23, 1965. Both McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones left Coltrane's group in January, 1966.
- All pieces written by John Coltrane.
- "Love" – 8:03
- "Compassion" – 9:32
- "Joy" – 8:52
- "Consequences" – 7:21
- "Serenity" – 6:12
- "Joy (alternate version)" – 12:16
- John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
- Jimmy Garrison – double bass
- Elvin Jones – drums
- McCoy Tyner – piano
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