Review Summary: A spellbinding performance.
John Coltrane was a pioneer of Jazz music. Jazz wasn't just another form of music to him, but a method of communication. Another form of expression in which the music describes the kind of sensations that no arrangement of words could ever describe. He viewed his albums as meditative journeys, altering the conventions of Jazz, while discovering new techniques and orchestral approaches. Kulu Sé Mama
induces a certainly interesting listening experience because it has such an abstract agenda. It is an album that reflects the traditional Bebop style of his earlier efforts, but we also see John Coltrane dwelling into the more experimental approach of his latter efforts. The album opens with "Kulu Sé Mama"
, a musical piece decorated with tribal aesthetics, expressing an evident influence from African spirituality. The instrumental elements have their moments of scandalous eruptions, but for the most part, "Kulu Sé Mama" is a rather gentle piece- an ascension into a spiritual state of mind.
is another delicate composition that is blossoming with musical elegance. Its driven by an alluring, yet gentle melody, that delivers an exquisitely beautiful sound. The music is warm and embracive, like the sensation of being in the arms of a lover. But as we transcend further into Kulu Sé Mama, we find that it reveals a more jubilant side. "Vigil"
, for example, is flourishing with energetic deliveries. Elvin Jones starts us off with an eruptive drum solo, before John Coltrane complete takes over with an intense release of free-form solos. And then of course, there is our highlight, "Selflessness"
, which features a duet by John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders as they coalesce their tenor saxophone deliveries into one spellbinding performance. "Selflessness"
is a voyage through different moods, exposing sides of both sensitivity and aggression within its musical landscape. Kulu Sé Mama may not have many songs to offer, but it is a truly remarkable album, and a listening experience well worth the time of any Jazz enthusiast.