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Interstellar Space Revisited (The Music of John Coltrane)

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Interstellar Space Revisited (The Music of John Coltrane) album cover
Lonnie's Lament
Album Information

Total Tracks: 6   Total Length: 59:34

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Mason's review is trite - give a listen


The greatest "tribute" artists can give another artist is to reimagine the work in their own style, through their own sensibilities, and that's what Cline and Bendian do here. It's a ferocious, wildly passionate take on the material that can and should be considered in and of itself, free from its point of departure. It's a serious work, and Mason's review above is silly on many points - it's a wonderful listening experience, and certainly worth your six downloads.

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Tribute to it in the best way possible


The music blasts off with Mars and Leo, which feature Cline's snarling guitar intertwined with Bendian's rhythmic drums. This is not completely a free jazz freak out album, there are moments of stark melodic beauty, especially during culminating parts of the Interstellar Space suite, Jupiter and Saturn and the encore cover of an older Coltrane chestnut Lonnie's Lament, during which Bendian switches to vibes to accompany Cline on a beautiful melodic interpretation of this song. This is a daring and highly successful album and is much recommended to those who enjoy the outer fringes of jazz or improvised music. Rock fans who are looking for an entry point into jazz may be interested as well - it's an energetic album that doesn't let up. Cline and Bendian are both currently involved with the excellent California label Cryptogramophone, which licenses its output to Emusic. There's a lot of great music there that is definitely worth exploring.

They Say All Music Guide

Tribute albums are iffy. Cover albums, where a favorite album is reinterpreted song by song, are downright dangerous. Cover albums of beloved classics, unless the intent is to deconstruct (see Sonic Youth’s much-mooted but never-released cover of the Beatles’ White Album) are pretty much suicidal. And yet, guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Gregg Bendian pull off this re-imagining of John Coltrane’s final album, the sax-drums duet suite Interstellar Space. Wisely, Cline and Bendian don’t try to replicate the original album, or to transcribe Coltrane and Rashied Ali’s parts. Instead, they use the restless, exploratory spirit of the original as a jumping-off point, and use the structures of the tunes as the basis for their own ideas. Even at his most shredding, sheets-of-sound noisiest, Coltrane’s search was for beauty; Cline’s tastes run more towards the Stratocaster-in-a-garbage-disposal line, which means that a lot of Coltrane fans will run in terror from displays like the near-atonal freakout at the heart of “Leo.” And yet, careful listening shows that at heart, Interstellar Space Revisited (The Music of John Coltrane) isn’t that far removed from the revered original at all. At best, this is a curio, but it’s an interesting one for Cline and Coltrane fans alike. – Stewart Mason

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