John Coltrane – Offering (Live At Temple University) DBL CD


WOW! How this exquisite double-knock-out disk duo took so long to get the quality reissue treatment is beyond me (typical Industry impotence & pedestrianism I guess), but here it is at last. The disks capture the late Coltrane’s seething, steeple toppling, tectonic-shattering Temple University live concert from 1966, one of his last & most volatile.

The gigs controvertible wildness & further foray into Coltrane’s turbulent & draconian sector seems to have secured legendary notoriety. Tumultuous austerity aside, brief frivolities such as Coltrane’s singing whilst chest beating seem to have impelled tremendous disdain & shock from the conventionalists. For fucks sakes! This is free jazz, go stir your cocktails somewhere else trick! I suppose Coltrane’s expansion into the great out back was seen as sacrilege to his previous serenity whilst canalizing far too much hostility & heat for his ameliorated acolytes that had been enamoured by the more accessible & benignant “classics” he had laid down in previous years. God forbid you should ever slip your chains. This is bloody intense stuff though! & in many facets (often all commensurate). The kind of berserk & uncontrolled pandemonium that would wrest rampant on this critical evening was not for the etiolated, genteel or confined of consciousness. These recordings represent Coltrane at his most enigmatic, most inspiring & least compromising bar perhaps Om! In other words, the mrfkn’ lick kid!!!

Coltrane’s compositions & more traditional moments on these efforts act really as catalysts & springboards for voluminous peregrinations into the molten heart of exhaustive extemporization & extremity. Ruthlessly energetic & urgent histrionics over a squall of paroxysmal percussive percolation from a possessed Rashid Ali & a series of conga players. A seething strident mass of enraptured stupefaction & skull-splitting superlatives that aureate & prolix at enormous length. Perhaps two thirds of both disks fulminate under full hysterics with torrential improvised exaltation severing pretty much all restraints & conventional communications. Pharaoh Sanders inflicts some of the most absurdist phono-obscenities, with fuming siege, almost forgoing any notion of composure or melodic/sound topography, veering violently & implacably into the noise spectrum with about as much cogence as natural disaster, capable of disembowelling a being without breaking the skin. It’s terrific & terrifying, as is pretty much everything, even the more traditional/milder sections that I don’t really appraise. With such libertine-largesse on extremities & the enormity of the blow-outs (two guest saxophonists also donate further flammables), packed to bursting with jumbled, barley congruent percussion from up two four hand-drummers, they deliver excellent air-pockets & temporary cushioning to the inexorable hostilities & emergency pandemics that swagger supreme on the majority of the disks.

This is a very’ very special recording. I have only recently unearthed the profound fortune of locating Coltrane’s temerarious & tempestuous “Free” epoch after slogging through many of the “wrong” recordings (for one so disposed to the manic & megrim side o’ things). The discoveries have been incredible, but Offering may be the best yet. For the more adventurous listeners with substantial lorications & anti-flame retardant head-dress, this is a great place to start with Coltrane for that ultimate upper-cut in epilepsy & epicurean effulgence!

Rekd: 1966 (released 2014)

Label: Impulse!/Resonance Records