Image for Ned Heckling The Band – One Of My Favourite Things

Ned Heckling The Band – One Of My Favourite Things

Written by Ned Green on October 29, 2009

Wow, another week passes without an opportunity to rest. Working, working, working… I need a holiday. Anyway, without any further ado, let’s get straight into the music!

As I was sifting through my jazz collection this week I stumbled across a CD that I simply could not believe I had not written about. This album is John Coltrane’s My Favourite Things, one of the all time great jazz albums. Released on October 24th, 1960, the album was significant for his career, as it was the first one in which he brought McCoy Tyner (piano), Elvin Jones (drums), and Stevie Davis (bass) together to form his quartet. Moreover, it was the first recording of him where he played the soprano saxophone – truly pioneering musicianship.

The album begins with the brilliant title track My Favourite Things. Here, we are treated to audio delights that don’t seem to be appropriate for ears that are subject to the horrors of Lady GaGa’s over-produced vocals or the next David Guetta hit (damn, she certainly is a “Sexy Bitch”, isn’t she? Oh, by the way David, that’s a hell of a way to describe a ‘bitch’ without being disrespectful, isn’t it? oh, wait…). In what is a reproduction of the Sound Of Music standard, Coltrane, with the help of his magnificent band, uses his oratory finesse to quaintly deliver the melody in a way that leaves the integrity of the original intact. Moreover, the delicate solo work of Tyner on piano will get even the most hardened listener swaying in her chair, as if sitting on a plush cloud. Coltrane’s solo work is typically soothing. He uses the tutti hits of the band to slowly transport his solo in this piece from soothing to rapid, with some parts sounding like a bugle at the Melbourne Cup. It is a truly magnificent song that trumps any other attempt to re-create the original version.

My Favourite Things then moves onto Everytime We Say Goodbye. An old Cole Porter tune, Everytime We Say Goodbye slows the album down into an impossibly romantic mood. Jones’ brushwork on the drums sets the scene for Coltrane to take us on a musical journey through the heart and soul with his emotional solo work. Tyner’s delicate piano hits and Davis’ consistent yet quaint double bass enable the song to stay incredibly stable and driving – an incredibly hard task when the tempo and feel of the song are so specifically delicate and laid-back. Songs like this make every jazz musician in the world angry – Why can these guys do it and I can’t?!

The almost insulting quality within the album continues with the second-to-last track Summertime. One of my favourite jazz standards, it is performed in a way that suggests all four musicians took a hit of speed and said “Fuck it, let’s just see what happens…” Well, the result is startling: for eleven minutes and thirty-six seconds, your ears will bleed only blood that does not appreciate unadulterated brilliance. Jones’ lively drumming and Tyner’s heavily syncopated keys allow Coltrane to solo to a degree in which his lips surely must bleed – it’s simply incredible speed and finesse – nothing more, nothing less. Tyner’s dissonant solo creates night where there is day and is sure to keep you on your toes, whilst Davis’ and Jones’ solo’s will simply make you shake your head and laugh. Thank you John & co.!

The album finishes with But Not For Me, a bebop standard that ensures the album’s energy is sustained for the entirety of the show. I need not repeat myself here, for fear of inciting violence amongst the few brainless that don’t like John Coltrane. Essentially, it’s just another ten minutes of four jazz musicians showing off and doing things that none of us will ever be able to do – a great way to ensure your fans stay happy, I guess.

My Favourite Things is one of my favourite things. I know that sounds sappy, half-arsed and cliché, but it’s true. It is a forty minute ride that will bring out all of your emotions, move you in your chair and make you gasp again and again. However, most of all, it’s just bloody good music. Coltrane and co. have made an album where the songs are as good as anything you will ever hear coming out of a stereo, and I’d highly suggest you get your grubby mitts on a copy of it.

Go! Run!

Upcoming Jazz Events

Wednesday 28th October, 8:30pm
Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra with Charles Tolliver @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $35 (plus booking fee)/Dinner & Show Tix $83.80 per person @ www.moshtix.com.au & (612) 9251 2797 (Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:30pm)

Friday 30th October, 10:00pm
James Morrison & Emma Pask @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $25 (plus booking fee)/Dinner & Show Tix $73.80 per person @ www.moshtix.com.au & (612) 9251 2797 (Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:30pm)

Friday 30th October, 8:30pm – 11:00pm
Tina Harrod Quartet @ The Sound Lounge.
Tix $20/$15 @ The Sound Lounge & 9351 7940.

Saturday 31st October, 8:30pm – 11:00pm
Tina Harrod Quartet @ The Sound Lounge.
Tix $20/$15 @ The Sound Lounge & 9351 7940.

Saturday 31st October, 9:30pm
A Night at the Jazz Rooms feat. The Neil Cowley Trio + Dojo Cuts feat. Roxie Ray + DJ Russ Dewbury plus special guest Charle Bucket (Funk Club Perth) @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $25 (plus booking fee)/Dinner & Show Tix $73.80 per person @ www.moshtix.com.au & (612) 9251 2797 (Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:30pm)

Sunday 1st November, 8:30pm
Billy Stritch (Liza Minnelli’s Musical Arranger) @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $50 (plus booking fee)/Dinner & Show Tix $103.80 per person @ www.moshtix.com.au & (612) 9251 2797 (Monday-Friday 10:00am-5:30pm)

Every Friday Night @ 8:00pm
Marsala @ Waverly Bowling Club.
Free entrance! Free car parking for 100 cars!

Tuesday 10th November, 7:30pm
Robert Green’s Cabaret Hour w/ Alexander Sussman @ Bar Me.
Tix $10.00 @ The door; Doors open @ 7:00pm. For More info check out www.robertgreencabaret.com.au

Got a gig to advertise? Email details to nedhecklingtheband@hotmail.com

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