VARIOUS ARTISTS / Naima Mixtape
Believe it or not, we’ve done this before (here), i.e. put together a “Naima” Mixtape. And double believe it or not, even though we did a dozen versions last time and present thirteen this time, except for the John Coltrane version there are no repeats and it’s all good.
“Naima” has got to be one of the most moving jazz compositions ever written. There is so much that can be done with the song. And that gorgeous ending stair-stepping through the changes—man, that’s truly classic. Truly.
If he had not been such a monster soloist, Coltrane would easily have made his mark as one of the major composers of jazz—which he is, it’s just that he is not usually remembered as a composer until someone reminds you of all the wonderful compositions he layed on us.
Don’t be surprised if in another year or two, we don’t drop another “Naima” Mixtape. This is just some exquisitely beautiful music.
One trivia note: The stunning photograph we use for the section head this week is Chuck Stewart’s classic. John and Alice Coltrane were in the studio listening to a playback of what they had recorded. “Naima” was written for Coltrane’s first wife. The version included on this Mixtape features the last quintet with Alice Coltrane playing piano. It’s also my all time favorite version of the song (my second favorite is the Doug & Jean Carn vocal version).
Some moments while listening to Pharoah and Trane roar through the melody, I feel like I’m flying, but flying in slow motion. I can see the whole world, my whole life. All the joys I’ve enjoyed as well as the immense struggles that I’ve survived. And the hopes I have for better to soon come even as my life experiences cause me to temper my optimism.
“Naima” is a major soundtrack covering everything from youthful exuberance to elder meditations and reflections. This is music that can take you everywhere you’ve ever been and anywhere you might want to go. Music that knows every kiss, each deep embrace and all the most profound intimacies.
If you listen to this Mixtape straight through without interruption, no doubt you will have seriously looked at your life; will have recalled moments you thought you had forgotten and will have envisioned scenarios you’ve never thought about before. But then, isn’t that what serious music should do?
“Naima” the sound of the ages, all our ages, especially all our intimacies and most deeply felt relationships. John Coltrane’s “Naima.” Music that inspires us to appreciate the beauty in our lives. “Naima.”
—Kalamu ya Salaam
“Naima” Mixtape Playlist
01 Caravan / Naima EP – Mark de Clive-Lowe featuring Bembe Segue
02 Afro Blue – Lonnie Smith
03 Listen To Art Farmer And The Orchestra – Art Farmer
04 Blythe Byte – Arthur Blythe
05 Remember Who You Are – Norman Connors
06 Brazaventure – Celine Rudoolph
07 Love is Supreme – Kindred Spirits Ensemble
08 The Remix Album - Volume 1 – 4hero
09 Mark Murphy Sings – Mark Murphy
10 Coltrane Memorial Quintet – McCoy Tyner
11 Octet Plays Trane – David Murray
12 Furious Rubato – Hal Galper
13 Live At The Village Vanguard Again! – John Coltrane
This entry was posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 8:12 am and is filed under Cover. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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