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Persona Jazz

John Coltrane

Coltrane was one of the jazz greats that passed through the Miles Davis school of innovative jazz. He is considered by many to be one the best tenor saxophonists in jazz history. His solos were dense with notes and complex in conception. His album "Giant Steps" features the most complex harmonic structures in jazz. Coltrane was admirable in many ways: Beyond his technical virtuosity as a jazzman he explored world music and many religious traditions, seeking that elusive understanding. He was inspired by Igor Stravinsky's innovative compositions and looked for the magic code that underlies the power of musical composition. He studied the remarkable anthology of scale permutations and combinations in Nicolas Slonimsky’s Thesaurus of Scales.

Coltrane was also a tragic figure, lost in in the heroin/alcohol fog that swallowed many of the great jazz players. His interest in the permutations and combinations of novel scales and obscure, painfully long improvisations eventually alienated even the most devoted fans.

Scott Anderson's essay on John Coltrane, Avant Garde Jazz, and the Evolution of “My Favorite Things” , (1996) offers a perspective on Coltrane and a detailed analysis of several variations on this familiar tune.

See Nicolas Slonimsky’s Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns (New York: Coleman-Ross, 1947), a book of nearly 1000 scales described by its author as a “reference book for composers in search of new materials”

Persona Studio Recording.

Lazy Bird appeared on Coltrane's 1957 album, Blue Train. The A section of "Lazy Bird" features two tonal centers a major third apart, an idea that would be developed as the Coltrane changes, harmonic progression variations using substitute chords over common jazz chord progressions. The ability to blow over the Coltrane changes remains one of the standards by which a jazz musician's improvising ability is measured. The changes serve as a pattern of chord substitutions for the II-V-I progression.

Coltrane's classic, Lazy Bird, was arranged by Stephen Gislason and Recorded by the P2500 Band

Listen to Lazy Bird

  • Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances under the titles Persona Digital, P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are arrangements and performances completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history are explained in the book, Sound of Music.

    Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the The Sound of Music by Stephen Gislason
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    Persona Digital Studio is located on the Pacific Coast, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada.
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