Nice Impulse work from Elvin Jones
– 2 albums in a single package! Illumination features an amazingly unique little group – one that kind of stepped in the Impulse Records back door from the Coltrane galaxy, but which features some very unique aspects overall! As the cover states, the ensemble's led by bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones
– and also features McCoy Tyner from Coltrane's quartet – yet the real charm of the record comes from the reed men, who include Prince Lasha on flute and clarinet, Sonny Simmons on alto and English horn, and Charles Davis on baritone sax! All players are free-thinking modernists, with ties to some of the farther reaches of 60s jazz – yet they work here in a beautifully inside mode, similar to Lasha's excellent Insight album on CBS UK – a vibe that takes all the most wonderful aspects of the Coltrane generation, but pushes them even further with some deeply personal expressions. Tracks include the seminal "Half & Half" – plus "Aborigine Dance In Scotland", "Oriental Flower", and "Nuttin Out Jones
", and "Gettin On Way". Dear John C is one of the stranger albums on Impulse, but a beautiful session that's filled with surprises you wouldn't expect! Elvin Jones
leads a group of odd bandmates in a set of tracks that's sort of a "letter" to Coltrane, and the groupings include either Roland Hanna or Hank Jones
on piano, plus Richard Davis bass, and Charlie Mariano on alto sax! Mariano is the real highlight of the album, and his sparkling alto playing on the disc is some of his finest work from the 60s – really standing out in one of his few American sessions from the middle part of the decade. Titles include "Love Bird", "Fantazm", "Ballade", "Dear John C", and "Smoke Rings".