Classic Albums: Ascension by John Coltrane

Back to the 60’s today, it’s been awhile since I last visited this decade with now only my third pick for that decade. So to follow The Monks and Pink Floyd, it’s just got to be John Coltrane and this total Jazz masterpiece. It comes after the only other Jazz album by the Aussie band The Necks it got me thinking and I’ve just got to included this one now. I guess The Necks can be called Jazz but it’s modern era and this is totally old school Jazz and pretty perfect for my Classic Albums collection. This just got to be my favourite Jazz album of all-time and I known that might be a little predicable but I guess it’s not A Love Supreme or Miles Davies, It’s Ascension!

This list is a work in process and I’m slowly just keep adding to this list of my favourite albums of all-time and Miles will be added sooner or later and I’m not saying A Love Supreme is a bad record or anything. That’s most likely second favourite Coltrane album after this great album but Ascension for me is above and beyond almost everything, it blows my mind away ever single time I listen. It’s so unbelievable amazing I really don’t even know how to even write about it at all? It goes far away from any words I can even think of?

Now I know some don’t get or understand jazz at all. This is yet another one of the albums banned to be played at home while I was with that long term now ex-gf, seen to have say this before a few time already so I don’t want the hell I listen to with her maybe just her music or something? Anyway I don’t know if I’m way more open to what music can do or can’t do, it can do anything! It seems a lot of people say I only like this and that so anything outside of that little box is never even considered by them.

I do know this can be labelled totally crazy, I think I did see it in Mojo magazine’s weirdest albums ever list so even music critics/reviewers say it’s an out there album but it was a great thing they were saying, not a bad thing some would. It’s kind-of called avant-garde jazz and it’s so much more so than say avant-garde rock .

John was a giant, you can’t understate his greatest. In the jazz world he’s like Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Elvis etc. is to the rock world but all in one artist. After this album was recorded he was only around two more years, died at 40 of liver cancer. If this is way to much for you maybe check out his early work and came back to it, it might not be the great intro too if you’ve never listen to anything like it before but then again it might be perfect depending on your taste in music in the first place.

Ascension is also the Big-Bang to Free Jazz movement that came after it. Recorded in mid-1965 and released in early 1966. The edition I and II were done at the time but man himself preferred the second one so that’s what was used but off course reissued years later with both, always listen both of them like this and never known it any other way.

He’s working with an amazing group musos here: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Dewey Johnson on trumpet, Marion Brown on alto saxophone, John Tchicai on alto saxophone,  Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone, Archie Shepp on tenor saxophone, McCoy Tyner on piano, Art Davis on bass, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums and off course himself John Coltrane on tenor saxophone. I’m cutting and paste this from somewhere else but it’s the break down of the solos:

Edition II
  1. (Opening Ensemble)
  2. Coltrane solo (3:10–5:48)
  3. (Ensemble)
  4. Johnson solo (7:45–9:30)
  5. (Ensemble)
  6. Sanders solo (11:55–14:25)
  7. (Ensemble)
  8. Hubbard solo (15:40–17:40)
  9. (Ensemble)
  10. Tchicai solo (18:50–20:00)
  11. (Ensemble)
  12. Shepp solo (21:10–24:10)
  13. (Ensemble)
  14. Brown solo (25:10–27:16)
  15. (Ensemble)
  16. Tyner solo (29:55–33:26)
  17. Davis and Garrison duet (33:26–35:50)
  18. (Concluding Ensemble)
Edition I
  1. (Opening Ensemble)
  2. Coltrane solo (4:05–6:05)
  3. (Ensemble)
  4. Johnson solo (7:58–10:07)
  5. (Ensemble)
  6. Sanders solo (11:15–13:30)
  7. (Ensemble)
  8. Hubbard solo (14:53–17:50)
  9. (Ensemble)
  10. Shepp solo (18:55–21:40)
  11. (Ensemble)
  12. Tchicai solo (23:11–24:56)
  13. (Ensemble)
  14. Brown solo (26:23–28:31)
  15. (Ensemble)
  16. Tyner solo (29:39–31:36)
  17. Davis and Garrison duet (31:36–33:30)
  18. Jones solo (33:30–33:55)
  19. (Concluding Ensemble)

I’m an Aussie but I’ve notices it’s American’s “black history month” in February and with a redneck now in the white house, I might as well add some albums and off course  artists that are just so important to me. I might even throw in some very important “black Australian” artists/albums and talk about a bit about the less known well facts my own country’s hideously history at the hand’s of those white devils. Nope I will do that not just might, I will do it! The sooner the better. Does that sound like a good idea?

So I’ve got to ask, who else love this Coltrane record?

Ascension track listing:

1. Ascension (Edition II) – 40:55

2. Ascension (Edition I) – 38:31


Here’s all my Classic Albums tagged in one spot or now each post is link below:

So this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write post about one of my favourite album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave a reply below about this album or any others because I would love to hear what you think about each album too? Cheers!


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