John Coltrane wasn’t the first to experiment with equal subdivisions of the octave (experiments go back to at least 1825), but his Giant Steps placed this radically different approach to harmony front and centre within the jazz world. Its unusual beauty and power still exert an influence, half a century later.
However, in our fascination with the 'what' of Coltrane’s octave subdivision, we can at times forget that its 'how' is equally important. That Coltrane himself subjected it to vastly divergent treatments attests to the importance he placed on exploring its technical means.
Both Giant Steps and Central Park West were constructed using its methods, and yet these classics couldn’t be more dissimilar in tone and artistic effect. Their difference bears witness to the fact that Coltrane ceaselessly sought to discover the 'how' of octave subdivision, so that he could learn to master its inherent characteristics, and use it with deliberate, artistic intent.
This article explores those discoveries, as they are embodied within the techniques used to create these masterpieces. More. . .
More Articles in Community Articles
Camera Soul to Perform at the Prestigious Umbria Winter Jazz Festival #23 in Orvieto
Kathryn Ballard Shut
Henry Grimes at 80!
Henry Grimes' 80th Birthday Celebration
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts
Madeleine Peyroux At Yoshi's Oakland
ACCLAIMED COMPOSER MARIA SCHNEIDER AND HER ORCHESTRA TOUR TO 10 EUROPEAN CITIES, NOVEMBER 6 – 20