John Coltrane
Lush Life


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
August 24th, 2008 | 16 replies | 9,886 views


Release Date: 1960 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Coltrane at his coolest

It’s a shame that an album like “Lush Life” gets lost in the shuffle between Coltrane’s more highly praised material such as “Blue Train”, “Giant Steps”, and “A Love Supreme.” Comprised of five tracks recorded in the late 1950's “Lush Life” is known as Coltrane’s second solo album. Although not as groundbreaking or bizarre as his later releases, “Lush Life” is still a worthwhile listen featuring Coltrane at his most relaxed and mellow.

A huge aspect that puts “Lush Life” over many Coltrane releases is that the sound is so simple yet classy. “Like Someone in Love” is such a modest yet brilliant arrangement. It’s essentially a five minute piece of Coltrane’s slick, elegant, playing over a couple of basslines and snare hits here and there. What Coltrane lacks in innovation he makes up for it with his simplicity and flow. “I Love You” picks up the pace, showcasing a more vibrant and upbeat style as opposed to the graceful sound that most of the disc contains. Earl May’s walking bassline in “Trane’s Slo Blues” perfectly accompanies Coltrane’s laid-back style creating some of Coltrane’s most accessible music to date.

Although every composition is great in its own respect, the fourteen minute title track just overshadows the rest of the material on here. Throughout the course of the song the tempo remains very slow, Coltrane’s bluesy, melancholy style is almost mesmerizing. Red Garland’s block-chordal piano playing may be simple and overused, but it adds a lot to the chilled out style of the music. Coltrane finishes off the song with one last tenor saxophone solo, which is the highlight of the album for myself.

I realize that there are no abrupt time signatures, blistering, solo’s, or crazy interplay yet I still love the smooth style that “Lush Life” contains. “Lush Life” is a great place to start if you’re unfamiliar with Coltrane since it features such a matured and easy-going sound. With such a straightforward approach it’s amazing how vibrant and impressive Coltrane’s playing really is; “Lush Life” certainly isn’t a very innovative set of songs yet I keep on coming back for more.



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user ratings (72)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
brandtweathers
August 24th 2008



2007 Comments


yet I keep on coming back for more.

coltrane in a nutshell

Crudo
August 24th 2008



31 Comments


best coltrane album

brandtweathers
August 24th 2008



2007 Comments


best coltrane album

ha what


joshuatree
Emeritus
August 24th 2008



3743 Comments


love supreme is better cause thats what everyone else thinks!!

brandtweathers
August 24th 2008



2007 Comments


love supreme is better bc its unbelievable

Jimmy
August 24th 2008



717 Comments


I enjoy this album, especially Like Someone in Love and the title track, but it is understandable how this one gets lost as you say. Coltrane has so many albums and several that are much better than this.

Kage
August 24th 2008



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For early Coltrane material, nothing is more overlooked and underrated than Dakar.

Time
August 24th 2008



81 Comments


I love Coltrane, I started with Love Supreme but then decided to try to listen to his albums somewhat chronologically. I have Blue train and Giant Steps, I have to get this one next.

btw, in your review you said this was his second solo album, but Blue Train and Giant Steps both came before (if I'm not mistaken). otherwise great review

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 24th 2008



3995 Comments


"Lush Life" is an interesting song. Played it live. I haven't heard the actual recording though.

Crudo
August 24th 2008



31 Comments



btw, in your review you said this was his second solo album, but Blue Train and Giant Steps both came before (if I'm not mistaken).
a bunch of sites have different release dates, wiki says it was released in 1958, amazon says 57, and rym says 60

Kage
August 24th 2008



1173 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The session was recorded in 57.

Crudo
August 24th 2008



31 Comments


oh man thanks for that

SynGates
August 25th 2008



2467 Comments


Seems like I will be adding this to my collection.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
August 26th 2008



862 Comments


I'm a bad person for only having A Love Supreme, so I'll get on this soon.

brandtweathers
August 26th 2008



2007 Comments


For early Coltrane material, nothing is more overlooked and underrated than Dakar.

maybe because he hadn't claimed himself as a band leader until a month after dakar was released. Solo material before that was largely ad hoc and meant for making ends meet... besides these he was never 'in charge' until "coltrane" or "first trane".. This was the nature of Jazz at the time (post big band and into ump-tet golden era)This Message Edited On 08.26.08

rbdeli
August 8th 2010



1 Comments


I don't care what Coltrane track I listen to - it always sound fresh, new and captivating. It's not that he was just a great sax player. He was an awesome artist.

http://saxophonestuff.com



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