Jun 19, 2009
Listening to Coltrane’s Settin’ the Pace. It’s not one of his greatest hits and even the various jazz cd review books give it second tier status, but I really enjoy it. “I See Your Face Before Me” is the lead track, an exquisite ballad that I humbly believe outshines the more famous “I Want to Talk About You” from Soultrane.
Still, saying this or that by Coltrane is better than this or that by Coltrane seems trivial and, frankly, beside the point (much like I found Ben Ratliff’s book on Coltrane’s sound). These are just opinions, after all, and vanity, moreover. Who cares what you/I think about any particular work by this man? It’s a mixture of hero-worship and elevation-by-association that frankly demeans the opiner by revealing a lamentable failure to listen.
I read an interview with Matisyahu once in which he pointed to the number of love songs out there as an indication of how much people are yearning for the love of God. “People feel abandoned by God, they feel alone. You see by the number of love songs there are, it’s a proof of that,” he said.
Coltrane’s devotion to God causes me to hear in his ballads blessed celebration and the joy of reunion. The face he sees before him, is the face of God. The “you” he wants to talk about is You, My Lord.
Image Courtesy of Flykr.