Ascension is a jazz album by John Coltrane recorded in 1965 and released in 1966. It is often considered to be a cornerstone of Coltrane's work, with the albums recorded before it being more conventional in structure and the albums recorded after it being looser, free jazz inspired works. In addition, it signaled Coltrane's interest in moving away from the quartet format
Whereas, prior to 1965, Coltrane could be heard playing in an avant vein with stretched-out solos, atonality, and a seemingly free design to the beat, Ascension throws most rules right out the window with complete freedom from the groove and strikingly abrasive sheets of horn interplay. Recorded with three tenors (Trane, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp), two altos (Marion Brown, John Tchicai), two trumpet players (Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Johnson), two bassists (Art Davis, Jimmy Garrison), the lone McCoy Tyner on piano, and Elvin Jones on the drums, this large group is both relentless and soulful.
Ascension (John Coltrane album), Ascension is a jazz album by John Coltrane recorded in 1965 and released in 1966 It is often considered to be a cornerstone of Coltrane's work, .
Ascension is a jazz album by John Coltrane recorded in 1965 and released in 1966. In addition, it signaled Coltrane's interest in moving away from the quartet format.
Complete Ascension (CD, Album, Comp). Impulse!, Impulse! MVCI-23016, AS-95.
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Ascension is considered to be Coltrane’s watershed album, a move away from the hard bop quartet formula, and decisively in the direction of free jazz. In a radio interview Coltrane modestly described it as a big band thing, though it is not like any big band recording made before. Dave Liebman called the album the torch that lit the free jazz thing. Coltrane apparently gave the musicians no directions for their solos, besides that they were to end with a crescendo.
Ascension is like the Labyrinth in Greek mythology. The further you venture, the more confused you will find yourself. The musicians of Ascension are like the Minotaur - while they might hold dominion over the composition, they are just as lost as those who choose to wander in. It's futile to attempt to understand Ascension as there is nothing to understand.
Few works remain genuinely controversial 35 years after their inception, but Ascension can generate as mixed a response today as it did when it was released. In May 1965, Coltrane assembled 10 other musicians for one of his most ambitious recordings, a 40- minute piece that was a landmark in the free-jazz movement and a key moment in Coltrane's sponsorship of the younger members of the New York avant-garde. While Ascension is commonly referred to as the album which marked Coltrane's irrevocable leap into free jazz, it's not altogether that simple. Published on August 7, 2008.