Quite a different album than usual for John Coltrane, but a classic one too – and a set that has the great one exploring his ideas in a set of longer tracks recorded with an expanded jazz orchestra! The format's hardly the mainstream big band of the time – as Coltrane's filled the group with very hip players – including Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, Julian Priester, and Eric Dolphy – in addition to usual compatriots who include McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, and Elvin Jones. The tunes have a soaring, modal sort of pulse – one that's filled with color and light from the addition of the other horn players, but which still has plenty of space for extended, exploratory solos. Coltrane plays both tenor and soprano sax – and titles include the legendary 16 minute track "Africa", a classic reading of "Greensleeves
", redone here as a modal searching spiritual track, and "Blues Minor". With Vol 2 the tracks feature Trane leading a group young modernists through a set of larger arranged charts, woven tightly together in a soulful spiritual groove that's similar to some of Max Roach's projects like this from the same time. Players include Booker Little, Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Reggie Workman, and Julius Watkins – and the album includes an alternate version of "Africa", plus "Greensleeves
" and "Song Of The Underground Railroad".
(Out of print.)