Nightman Listens To – Ascension – John Coltrane (1966 Series)!

Highest Trane: John Coltrane's World-Building Ascension - JazzTimes

Greetings, Glancers! I know this won’t make a lot of sense because I post out of sequence, but this is like my third or fourth Jazz album in a row that I’m listening to and write about. If I never hear another jazz album in my life, I’ll die an unhappy man for having heard any in the first place.

I do have some experience of John ‘Robbie’ Coltrane, having listened to his A Love Supreme album in one of my other lists. The only thing I remember about it is that I didn’t enjoy it. And that it had a lot of horns. Looking at the album cover for Ascension I can only assume that this will be more of the same – horns and boredom. Interestingly, terrifyingly, it looks like there’s only a single 40 minute track on the album. Lets hope it’s not some freewheeling mess of noise and instead has some semblance of concept. Hell, even a coherent melody would be nice. Let’s do this.

You know that viral video which claims to show a girl being reunited with a donkey she had raised, but they hadn’t seen each other for years? You know the type – the kid calls for the animal, it comes out of its pen, sees the child, and begins braying in delight/pain as it canters towards the child for an emotional cuddle. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy and forget for 12 seconds that we live in a world governed by Religious and/or Money Hungry maniacs who want us to be nothing more than powerless slaves – and we keep letting them do it! The sound the donkey makes? That’s the sound of 80% of this album, except imagine that the donkey has been tied to the side of a Waltzer.


That’s really all you need to know about the album going in; if you like tuneless noise, the sound of talented musicians off their tits in a frenzy of ego, playing as fast and loose as you like with no care given to structure, tone, emotion, or melody, then have at it. Jazz is for you. For the rest of us it’s nothing more than clanging clanging clanging clanging clanging clanging horn bit clanging end.

That’s another one signed off for 1966 – lets hope we get a rest from the fucking jazz nonsense. Feel free to call me a philistine in the comments!

Tell it like it is!

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