Interstellar Space


Interstellar Space is one of the last studio album by saxophonist John Coltrane. It was established on February 22, 1967, almost six months before his death in 1967 in a duet with drummer Rashied Ali. It was founded in 1972 by Impulse! Records posthumously released on LP. The album contains an interpreted by the duo four-part suite whose pieces are named after the planets of our solar system.

The recordings from the Coltrane estate

After Coltrane's death on 17 July 1967 saw Impulse! Records succession albums with Coltrane's music publishing; The end of 1967 first expression finally appeared (AS 9140 ), in the summer of 1968, the album Om. During this time, Bob Thiele noticed another title on the market, Cosmic Music, appeared on the new, short-lived Coltrane Records label of Coltrane's widow, who had two Coltrane recordings from 1966 and two quartet pieces by Alice Coltrane were conducted. Discussions within the management of ABC - Paramount led then to offer the Coltrane 's widow a compromise: Cosmic Music and other unreleased material by the late saxophonist would at Impulse! appear; simultaneously could Alice Coltrane their albums under his own name at Impulse! Publish Records; her first album with the label was then 1968 A Monastic Trio ( AS- 9156 ).

Subsequently published until the end of the original Impulse label in 1977, a number of previously unreleased material from the estate, so 1970 Transition ( AS- 9195 ), 1971 Sun Ship ( AS- 9211 ), 1972 Infinity (AS- 9225 ), and finally in September 1974, the duo album Interstellar Space (ASD 9276 ).

The music of the album

The recordings for Interstellar Space among Coltrane's last studio sessions; in the aftermath of the shooting in February / March 1967, which were later released on Expressions, Coltrane was up to his death in July 1967, although several more times in the studio. To date, however, were only the live recording of his concert in New York Olatunji Center from April 1967 published (The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording).

The album contains the names of the planets named Saxophone drum duets. Intention of the saxophonist was "a greater emphasis on the rhythmic element and a game that is free of harmonic and tonal constraints, " as the Coltrane biographer and Filtgen Except Bauer to these late recordings.

"Mars" is a " battlefield among the cosmic giants, with broadly impacting brass tones and a tight game of percussionists. " Let there be played " with a panache " that make it impossible to " distinguish individual sounds ," said Filtgen / Extra- Bauer, it arises while " a sound mixture, which gives the impression that it is an instrument which provides the possibility of both rhythmic as well as melodic game".

The following " Venus" is applied comparatively quiet; after a prelude of Rashied Ali Coltrane blows a long melodic line that is clearly picking up the title of respect. His play in the next track "Jupiter" is similarly troubled as in " Mars"; Ali plays here but cautious, " but with a technical brilliance that surely makes him one among the elite of the jazz drummer. "

The last track of the album "Saturn" begins with a drum solo; Coltrane " is building his solo more melodic lines, interrupted by occasional rhythmic interjections on, always looking for a higher tone boundaries. Creating structure used herein the sequence principle, ie he plays melodies in different pitches, moving phrases as a whole, to intervals, to make it as melodic and sound to light from several sides. After his raging tenor solo, the piece ends as it had begun, with Rashied Ali. "


( *) Only on CD

Evaluation / impact of the album

The work was after its publication in 1974 as examples for other drums / saxophone duo, who have since been added; in particular the avant-garde jazz musician Andrew Cyrille is strongly influenced by these recordings. The critics Richard Cook and Brian Morton, reviewed the album with the highest grade in their Penguin Guide to Jazz, call it " one last masterpiece" and the " purest sound experiment among all his albums". The Coltrane biographer and Filtgen Except Bauer conclude that Coltrane had played with Interstellar Space " music of high maturity and expressiveness".

1998 played the guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Gregg Bendian for Atavistic the four pieces of the suite a ( Interstellar Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane ).

Editorial comments

Cook and Morton note that Interstellar Space was sold out at the Impulse label and its various owners long. The formed during the same session title Leo and Jupiter in 1978 Variations on the managed by Michael Cuscuna Coltrane compilation The Mastery Of John Coltrane, Vol 3 - Jupiter Variation ( Impulse IA 9360 ) with additional material from March 1967 ( Number One ) and February 1966 ( Peace on Earth ) published. On the CD edition of Interstellar Space was the first time all the tracks, which were recorded on 22 February 1967 combines.


" The way how Rashied Ali plays allowed the soloist maximum freedom. I can at any time choose any direction and thereby be sure that matches what he plays. "