Influenced by My Favorite Things

On this third episode of "Music Influence Monday" I'm going to discuss the John Coltrane album My Favorite Things. Notice I am going to use the American spelling of Favourite throughout this post because that's what is written on the album.

As a teenager I had read much about jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in second copies of American music magazine Downbeat, enough to realise that he must have been one of the big movers and shakers. I had found a copy of "Afro Blue" second hand in the Centrepoint Midland Book Shop (this was actually a record company compilation of some later stuff with Pharoah Sanders and some of the Live at the Village Vanguard recordings). The record shocked me, much of it didn't sound like music, well music as I knew it at any rate. I put in the time and effort though and after several listens started to understand some of what was going on. Such was my introduction to John Coltrane as an artist.

As far as the record My Favorite Things goes, I discovered it in the old Perth Music Library (I say old, because back in the 1970s it was located where the Perth Museum is situated now. It was my habit in upper high school to take the train into Perth after school and listen to various recordings in the music library there until the librarian had had enough of me and would kick me out.

My Favorite Things was one of the recordings that I frequently listened to. Its John Coltrane's interpretation of a bunch of old jazz standards, and yes the title track is actually a cover of the Julie Andrews song.

This influenced me in that it made me realise that you can't write off an instrument just because of a few recordings you don't like. If I had only heard the Kenny G recordings of the 80s and 90s, I would have thought that the soprano saxophone was a dreadful instrument, but all I thought was, shame it doesn't sound like the wonderful dark sound that John Coltrane got on My Favorite Things.

1 comment

  • Phil

    Phil Scotland

    Yes, a great player and quite unique.

    Yes, a great player and quite unique.

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