Monday, November 12, 2012

Wilbur Harden & John Coltrane - Tanganyika Strut

To discuss styles on this date is to try and epitomize the entire current style of playing jazz. Each of these men represents on their instrument the most current thinking and styling in jazz. Coltrane, the most developed and authoritative voice (along with Taylor), utilizes his searing and soaring vast technical resources to heat up his conservation. Probing the extensions of the basic chords, his use of extended 32nd note and 64th note runs is cleanly executed in tune! This writer detects a particular usage heat of extended top notes that "whine" in a near-use of an old Lester Young technique, currently utilized by Yusef Lateef to give a "near East" influence to the tenor sax. Wilbur Harden approaches melody much like Miles Davis, yet weaving a more note tapestry around it. His extended used of middle range gives the "flat" sound of the flugelhorn a chance to come forth. Curiously, brass men report that this longer-tubed relative of the trumpet takes much more wind and blowing to make sound that the trumpet, yet Harden is able to "puff" effortlessly and brilliantly! Curtis Fuller still makes extended use of 32nd note staccato bursts into biting legato phrases as a trademark. Newcomer Howard Williams' developing style show an alternating pattern of lag-beat single notelines and a more florid chorded style, in contrast to the beautifully constucted and restrained work of Tommy Flanagan. - by H. Alan Stein (from original liner notes)

When listening to the many albums of John Coltrane it is easy to be unimpressed by his earlier works or else to find his later works too avant-garde and difficult to listen to. "Tanganyika Strut" is neither of these. This album seems to have captured him in his transitional phase (1958-1959) where he expresses a great amount of feel in his playing mixed with impressively fast and complicated solos which make his music easier to listen to. This is particularly true with the first two tracks on the album. To those who really get deep into their music you will find yourselves playing this album over and over again admiring the feel and technique than Coltrane possessed. For me, "Tanganyika Strut" along with "A Kind of Blue" (Coltrane and Miles Davis) and "My Favourite Things" represent the best of Coltrane. Remember that Coltrane's music is extremely deep and often difficult to get into. Personally, I place this album in my group of classics along with "Concierto" by Jim Hall, "The Last Concert" by The Modern Jazz Quartet", "A Kind of Blue" Coltrane & Davis, and "Live" by Jim Hall. - from

Artist: Wilbur Harden & John Coltrane
Album: Tanganyika Strut
Year: 1958
Label: Savoy (Nippon Columbia, 1991)
Runtime: 29:09
Audio type: Monaural

1.  Tanganyika Strut (Curtis Fuller) 10:03
2.  B.J. (Wilbur Harden) 4:30
3.  Anecdac (Wilbur Harden) 5:11
4.  Once In A While (Michael Edwards/Bud Green) 9:22

Wilbur Harden (Flugelhorn)
John Coltrane (Tenor Saxophone)
Curtis Fuller (Trombone)
Ali Jackson (Double Bass)
Art Blakey (Drums)
Howard Williams (Piano) - 2-4
Tommy Flanagan (Piano) - 1


  1. Compliments for a fantastic post! Many thanks.

  2. Cool. Never even heard of this. Thanks much.



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