|Studio album by|
|Recorded||February 22, 1967|
|Studio||Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs|
|John Coltrane chronology|
Interstellar Space consists of an extended duet suite in four parts with the drummer Rashied Ali, and was recorded at the Van Gelder Studio on February 22, 1967, the week after the session that produced Stellar Regions. As a result, the melodies often overlap; "Venus" has the same melody as the title track of the previous LP, "Mars" quotes the melody of what became known as "Iris", and many note choices and runs are similar.
The original album featured four tracks: "Mars" (titled "C Major" in the ABC/Paramount session sheets), "Venus" (titled "Dream Chant" in the session sheets), "Jupiter", and "Saturn". Two further tracks from the session, "Leo" and "Jupiter Variation", later appeared on the compilation album Jupiter Variation in 1978. A 2000 CD reissue collected all of the tracks from the session, including false starts for "Jupiter Variation" in the CD's pregap.
Release and reception
|The Penguin Guide to Jazz|||
|The Rolling Stone Record Guide|||
|The Village Voice||A–|
Interstellar Space was released in September 1974 by Impulse! Records. In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, music journalist Stephen Davis called the album "plainly astounding" and found Ali to be the ideal complement for Coltrane's mystical ideas: "He outlandishly returns the unrelenting outpour of energy spewing from Trane, and the result is a two-man vulcanism in which Ali provides the subterranean rumblings through which the tenor explodes in showers of notes." Robert Christgau wrote in his column for The Village Voice that he was amazed by the duets, which "sound like an annoyance until you concentrate on them, at which point the interactions take on pace and shape, with metaphorical overtones that have little to do with the musical ideas being explored."
In a review of Interstellar Space's expanded CD reissue, jazz critic Scott Yanow from AllMusic deemed it "rousing if somewhat inaccessible music" with transformative, emotional duets that showcase Coltrane's flair for improvising without a traditional jazz accompaniment. Tiny Mix Tapes wrote that the "fierce free-jazz rumination" is not as important as his other albums Giant Steps (1960) and A Love Supreme (1965), but it better encapsulates Coltrane's spiritual and stylistic growth, including his understanding and grasp of multiphonic techniques, overtone sounds, and altissimo notes. According to Down Beat magazine, Interstellar Space best exemplified the formal principles Coltrane applied to his more spiritual music, while Derek Taylor from All About Jazz called it one of his most important recordings, distinct from previous duets he recorded with the likes of Elvin Jones:
In Ali he found a drummer even more willing to abandon terrestrial rhythmic boundaries and set course for uncharted space. Across these duets the saxophonist is at his most visceral exuding an overpowering confidence tempered at times with sacrosanct tenderness. Ali's interlocking pan-rhythmic patterns envelop and embrace while fervently pushing the music forward.
In 1999, guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Gregg Bendian released their versions of "Mars", "Leo", "Venus", "Jupiter" and "Saturn" on the album Interstellar Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane.
All tracks written by John Coltrane.
|CD bonus tracks|
- 2000 CD reissue includes a brief rehearsal fragment, two false starts of "Jupiter Variation", and studio chatter between Coltrane and Ali. These outtakes are hidden in the pre-gap before "Mars".
- Davis, Francis (2006). "The John Coltrane Guide". The Village Voice (May 30). New York. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Yanow, Scott. "Interstellar Space - John Coltrane". AllMusic. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Trane Tracks". Down Beat. No. March. Chicago. 1992. p. 48.
...the best case for the formalism that accompanied his spiritualism...
- Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (1992). The Penguin Guide to Jazz. Penguin Books. p. 229. ISBN 9780140153644.
- Swenson, J., ed. (1979). The Rolling Stone Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 182. ISBN 0-394-41096-3.
- "John Coltrane - Interstellar Space User Opinions". Sputnikmusic. Scroll down to Hernan M. Campbell STAFF. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
- Christgau, Robert (1974). "Consumer Guide (51)". The Village Voice (December 23). New York. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Kahn, Ashley (2007). The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 262. ISBN 0393082881.
- Davis, Stephen (1975). "John Coltrane: Interstellar Space". Rolling Stone. New York (July 3). Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "1967: John Coltrane - Interstellar Space". Tiny Mix Tapes. October 9, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- Taylor, Derek (August 1, 2000). "John Coltrane: Interstellar Space". All About Jazz. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
- "Interstellar Space Revisited (The Music of John Coltrane)". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 March 2015.