One of Coltrane’s most popular, influential recitals, ‘Impressions’ derives its two extended blowing tracks from the saxophonist’s famous November 5, 1961 gig at New York’s Village Vanguard. The brief, charming blues and ballad were recorded in the fall of 1962 and the spring of 1963, respectively. On ‘Impressions’ Coltrane acknowledged his roots, while striking out in new directions. ‘Impressions’ is an affectionate uptempo nod to his earlier modal flights with Miles Davis, and it is clear from Jimmy Garrison’s comanding pulse on this tune that ‘trane had found his bassist. Coltrane’s new conception freed up rhythm sections from their metronomic duties of the past, so Garrison and Elvin respond to ‘trane’s string of short phrases and torrid cries with a loose, counterpunching brand of conversational 4/4. Garrison’s ability to move seamlessly between vamp and swing beats, his innate sense of form on non-metric materials, allowed the quartet to abandon strict timekeeping in favour of a freely breathing pulse. Jazz would never be the same.
(Ermitage – VNL 12532)