Classic Jazz Quartet, 1960-1965
This is the classic Coltrane group, widely regarded as the leading sound of the jazz avant-garde in the 1960’s. With McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums, Coltrane’s quartet produced some of the most exhilarating, adventurous, and consciousness-expanding music of that era. Many hitherto non-jazz fans were drawn to their sheer power and revolutionary force. The music is well represented on both Atlantic and, later, Impulse records. Some listeners found Trane’s solos difficult to handle, often running twenty minutes to an hour in length. Most were in awe at what appeared to be the unleashing of a powerful natural force.
Before forming this group, Coltrane was a member of the Miles Davis band. Once he asked his famous leader how he could regulate his seemingly endless flow of ideas. Davis, never one to mince words, replied tersely, “Try taking the saxophone out of your mouth.”
Tyner and Jones recorded extensively ater this group disbanded. The Quartet’s collective influence on the jazz world has not been surpassed to this day.
Photograph by Roger Kallins. Courtesy of Patricia Darlington.