It will be a night of great music making as the Faculty Jazz Ensemble of Paradise Valley Community College, in their ongoing series celebrating the greats of jazz, performs the music of John Coltrane. The evening will feature selections from his two most iconic albums, Giant Steps and A Love Supreme. The ensemble will present Coltrane’s music on Saturday, Feb. 2 in the Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of PVCC.
John Coltrane is certainly in anybody’s top-five list of iconic performers; even simple photos of him exude the sounds of jazz. He is known for his skills as an improviser, composer, and bandleader coupled
with an almost religious commitment to the music that he was making. In his career he championed be-bop and early modal styles, but also pushed jazz to the extremes of the avant-garde and modern music making. His legacy also includes working with some of the most important jazz artists of his time, such as Miles Davis, and serving as an influence himself for the musicians that have followed him. PVCC ensemble member Brett Reed states, “Next to Charlie Parker no saxophonist is as copied, emulated and influential as Coltrane.”
Coltrane’s work comes from a relatively brief career that spans a little more than a decade from 1955 until his death at age 40 in 1967. His earliest releases were as a sideman working with Miles Davis and others, as a bandleader his first recordings come from 1957. He is perhaps best known for a very prolific period of music making from 1959 – 1965 where he recorded and released some of the most successful jazz albums of all time.
After several stints with Miles Davis’ group and successfully kicking an addiction to heroine, he returned to the group in 1959 to record Kind of Blue, commercially and critically the most successful jazz record of all time. 1959 also saw the release of Coltrane’s own Giant Steps, a classic in its own right. The period ended with the release of A Love Supreme in 1965, Coltrane’s most commercially successful recording and also a critical favorite. Reed says, “Our concert will include a complete reading of A Love Supreme,” an experience that will be unique for the group and the audience. Reed continues, “Coltrane himself only played the whole album live once during his lifetime.”Center for the Performing Arts
WHERE: Paradise Valley Community College
18401 North 32nd Street, Phoenix
BOX OFFICE: 602.787.7738
Advance tickets: $12 adults/$10 seniors & staff/$8 students/$6 Children
Door tickets: $14 adults/$12 seniors & staff/$10 students/$8 Children
About the Faculty Jazz Ensemble:
The ensemble is led by some of the most sought after jazz performers and educators in the valley. Keith Kelly (saxophone), Scott Zimmer (saxophone), Brett Reed (vibraphone), Ted Sistrunk (bass), and John Lewis (drums).Their ongoing series has paid tribute to Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Carla Bley, Chick Corea and many others. In addition to the tribute series, the Faculty Jazz Ensemble has appeared at Jazz in the Hills, Jazz in AZ, Scottsdale Arts Festival, and Sacred Grounds concert series.
The ensemble has been presenting these tribute concerts for nearly a decade. “We began,” says Reed, “by doing our version of Kind of Blue, track by track.” Subsequent shows have highlighted composers and styles important to the history of jazz. This season the group looks to the music of Davis and Coltrane in the fall, in the spring just the music of John Coltrane.