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Nothing wrong with accordion music. Look up some Art Van Damme.
Cotati Accordion Fest August 18 and 19 2018. Hundreds of accorianists playing "Lady of Spain" is something you will never forget no matter how hard you try.
 

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Cotati Accordion Fest August 18 and 19 2018. Hundreds of accorianists playing "Lady of Spain" is something you will never forget no matter how hard you try.
Unfortunately, Lady of Spain is the "Free Bird" of the accordion. I've known some great players and some no so great, like any instrument.
 

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I remember reading that Bill Cosby appeared in a club as warmup for Trane and when Trane opened with Giant Steps, Cosby sang along with the head. I don't remember whether it was an account by Nat Hentoff or by J.C. Thomas (Chasin' the Trane). If the anecdote is true, then it's testimony to a live performance of Giant Steps.
 

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I remember reading that Bill Cosby appeared in a club as warmup for Trane and when Trane opened with Giant Steps, Cosby sang along with the head. I don't remember whether it was an account by Nat Hentoff or by J.C. Thomas (Chasin' the Trane). If the anecdote is true, then it's testimony to a live performance of Giant Steps.
I was interested in this so did a quick search and found this article: http://jerryjazzmusician.com/2014/0...cosby-john-coltrane-played-birdland-together/

It has an excerpt from J.C. Thomas' Chasin' the Trane and mentions a "duet" of "Out of this world." It doesn't mention Giant Steps but that could be in a different section of the book or it could have happened on some other night that Cosby was there.
 

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I find it very hard to believe he never played it "live", by that I mean for an audience. Wouldn't he want to play it in clubs while he was promoting the album?
Mike C.
 

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I find it very hard to believe he never played it "live", by that I mean for an audience. Wouldn't he want to play it in clubs while he was promoting the album?
Maybe not if the piano player wasn't up to it?

Myabe marketing wasn't his strongest attribute.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if Trane never played it before a live audience because if you listen to all of the 20+ takes that he did, you'll notice how the improv begins relatively tame and not very complex but evolves in complexity with each take. Out of the 20+ takes, number 17 is the version that most of us are most familiar with and it's the only take that one finds the transposition of (to my knowledge). My point is that perhaps he couldn't match the studio performance unless he did a lot of warm-up. It's just a guess.

I'm taking that guess because none of Sonny Rollins' recorded improvs of St. Thomas match his studio performance on Saxophone Colossus. His live performances aren't nearly as complex. I wonder if it was the same thing for Trane, only Trane didn't want to chance a lackluster performance of the tune.
 

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According to Lewis Porter's biography, Coltrane did play "Giant Steps" live with the quartet he formed with Steve Kuhn, Art Davis, and Pete Laroca in late 1959-early 1960. The source for this info seems to be Kuhn, who apparently kept his notebooks from the period, and Laroca.

"The repertory included Coltrane's "Giant Steps," "Countdown" (called "Tune Up," its source, in Kuhn's notebook), "Naima," "Straight Street," "Spiral" (from the Giant Steps album), "Cousin Mary," "Like Sonny," Cal Massey's "Bakai," and the standards "Little Old Lady" and "I Want to Talk about You," Porter writes. He also mentions that the group played Trane's reharmonized versions of "How High the Moon," "Confirmation," "Summertime," and "Body and Soul," and writes that both Kuhn and Laroca remembered having played "Impressions."
 

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Thanks for this. I love virtuosity in many forms!
That Art van Damme clip is for sure virtuoso, but in accordeon playing using a keyboard is not seen as the highest form of virtuosity. We had a Dutch accordeon virtuoso from Amsterdam who played an accordeon with only buttons (much more difficult). He normally played Amsterdam folk music, but also did some jazz things. Here is 'After You've Gone' played by Johnny Meijer:


Couldn't find a live version from him (or John Coltrane) playing 'Giants Steps'!
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if Trane never played it before a live audience because if you listen to all of the 20+ takes that he did, you'll notice how the improv begins relatively tame and not very complex but evolves in complexity with each take. Out of the 20+ takes, number 17 is the version that most of us are most familiar with and it's the only take that one finds the transposition of (to my knowledge). My point is that perhaps he couldn't match the studio performance unless he did a lot of warm-up. It's just a guess.

I'm taking that guess because none of Sonny Rollins' recorded improvs of St. Thomas match his studio performance on Saxophone Colossus. His live performances aren't nearly as complex. I wonder if it was the same thing for Trane, only Trane didn't want to chance a lackluster performance of the tune.
This is pure conjecture, but I'm not buying anything in the quote above. The idea that such innovative and master improvisors like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane would balk at playing any of their compositions in live performance on the off chance that they wouldn't live up to the recorded version is highly unlikely, imo. I simply can't imagine that being the case.

And having been lucky enough over the years to hear Sonny Rollins and many other jazz masters playing live (unfortunately Trane was gone before I was going to jazz clubs), in almost every case what I heard in the live performance surpassed, and often FAR surpassed, anything they had recorded. Most of the top jazz musicians took full advantage of the freedom afforded in a live situation that doesn't exist in the studio. So no, if Coltrane never played Giant Steps live (and I would be surprised if he didn't), I don't for a second believe it was because he was afraid it wouldn't be up to the standards of the recorded version. As mentioned already here, just because it wasn't recorded live, doesn't mean he never played it live.
 

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There is a recording of Coltrane playing "Giant Steps" live with McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis, and Pete Laroca in 1960, according to "The John Coltrane Reference," which catalogues all the known details about performances and recordings. It is an audience recording, probably from July 18-23, 1960, at the Showboat in Philadelphia. "Giant Steps" is the first tune on the tape, and it lasts 10:56 even though the beginning is cut off.

So, I think that settles it. Steve Kuhn and Laroca remembered playing the "Giant Steps" while they were in Coltrane's early quartet, as reported in the Lewis Porter biography. And there's an unreleased audience recording that confirms it.
 

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I heard a well known trombone player walked out from a recording session of Giant Steps because he couldn't blow or was unfamiliar with the changes. Anybody else heard that rumor?
 

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This is pure conjecture, but I'm not buying anything in the quote above. The idea that such innovative and master improvisors like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane would balk at playing any of their compositions in live performance on the off chance that they wouldn't live up to the recorded version is highly unlikely, imo. I simply can't imagine that being the case.

And having been lucky enough over the years to hear Sonny Rollins and many other jazz masters playing live (unfortunately Trane was gone before I was going to jazz clubs), in almost every case what I heard in the live performance surpassed, and often FAR surpassed, anything they had recorded. Most of the top jazz musicians took full advantage of the freedom afforded in a live situation that doesn't exist in the studio. So no, if Coltrane never played Giant Steps live (and I would be surprised if he didn't), I don't for a second believe it was because he was afraid it wouldn't be up to the standards of the recorded version. As mentioned already here, just because it wasn't recorded live, doesn't mean he never played it live.
I didn't say that Sonny Rollins balked at playing anything. I said that none of the live recordings (that I've heard) of St. Thomas matched his solo on Saxophone Colossus. I've seen Rollins live only four times. Each time his solo on St. Thomas didn't come close to the complexity of what I heard on Saxophone Colossus. I'm sorry that we've had different experiences.

Nobody said that Coltrane never played "Giant Steps " live. If you read the entire thread you'd have read that I recounted an anecdote of Bill Cosby singing the head along with Trane. What you quoted was later conjecture regarding why I thought he might not have. Again, I'm sorry that you disagree with me.
 

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I didn't say that Sonny Rollins balked at playing anything. I said that none of the live recordings (that I've heard) of St. Thomas matched his solo on Saxophone Colossus. I've seen Rollins live only four times. Each time his solo on St. Thomas didn't come close to the complexity of what I heard on Saxophone Colossus.
I like this live version better than the Saxophone Colossus version .

 

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The more I understand the person John Coltrane, the more I see Giant Steps as a breaking of shackles. I’ve made the assertion that JC made Giant Steps to prove (mostly to himself) that he could play changes, all of them...to the extent of creating his own template. I find angst and tension with a boxed in feel whenever I listen to Trane’s playing before Giant Steps. I think he made Giant Steps out of frustration and to prove a point. I don’t enjoy hearing anyone play Giant Steps live and I’ve heard many do it. I wish it weren’t such a litmus test.
Oh, about the number of takes...I think Tommy Flanagan et al were seeing it for the first time.
 

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The more I understand the person John Coltrane, the more I see Giant Steps as a breaking of shackles. I've made the assertion that JC made Giant Steps to prove (mostly to himself) that he could play changes, all of them...to the extent of creating his own template. I find angst and tension with a boxed in feel whenever I listen to Trane's playing before Giant Steps. I think he made Giant Steps out of frustration and to prove a point. I don't enjoy hearing anyone play Giant Steps live and I've heard many do it. I wish it weren't such a litmus test.
Oh, about the number of takes...I think Tommy Flanagan et al were seeing it for the first time.
I wonder if Trane just wrote that tune as part of his on-going study process for that time period and by the time he had his first quartet
post-Miles..was done with the tune itself.
He still used parts of that cycle in his actual improvisations going into 1960, and 61 .

In terms of Angst and tension .. that could be heard post-Giant Steps if you hear things that way .
I hear pure exuberance and molten fire, among other descriptors
Trane was one of the most emotive saxophonists we've had .
 
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