Coltrane Lecture at East Stroudsburg University (2007)

Coltrane Lecture at ESU. 04-09-07

Remembering John Coltrane: A Commemoration in Words and Music


(Reprinted from The NOTE – Summer 2007 issue, an official publication of the Al Cohn Memorial Jazz Collection at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania)


The following is the transcript of a presentation and panel discussion moderated by saxophonist David Liebman on the life and music of John Coltrane. Held on April 9, 2007 in the Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, the panelists included John Coltrane’s son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, drummer Billy Hart and bassist Cecil McBee. The discussion, which was followed later that evening by a concert featuring the participants joined by pianist Phil Markowitz, marked 2007 as the 80th anniversary year of Coltrane’s birth and the 40th anniversary year of his passing.


David Liebman [DL]: OK. Good afternoon, everybody. Of course you realize we are playing this evening with a very honored and great cast of characters – Mr. Billy Hart, who you’ll meet in a few minutes, Ravi Coltrane, Cecil McBee and Phil Markowitz. So, please come on back at 8 o’clock to hear our dedication to John [Coltrane] and, of course, his music and our arrangements of it. I’d like to just begin with my own personal relationship to John Coltrane, and then I’d certainly like to introduce my brother [Billy Hart] to let him tell you his, which is quite different. And then if there’s time, depending on if you have questions or whatever, to talk a little about the music. I can tell you in short, the kind of presentation that I’ve [prepared] – I’ve now done it twice, in Paris last year and [at] the Manhattan School of Music a couple months ago – is a summary of Coltrane, beginning with 1951 [and] working its way up to his passing in ‘67. So if we get a little time to just go through a little bit of the musical things, I’d like to make you aware of the amazing contributions he made.

In my case, it was with an amazing amount of good luck and synchronicity that I grew up in New York City, in Brooklyn. And when I was beginning high school, fifteen years old, and got into what they called the dance band – it would be called jazz band now – with the older musicians, one day they said “Would you like to go to Birdland?” And I said, “Well, what’s that?” “Oh, it’s a club in Manhattan, [a] jazz club” and so forth. I said “Sure”, you know. So I got permission from my parents and took the subway into Birdland, which was a complete trip of its own. I had never seen anything like that in any way, shape or form. One thing I can tell you, one anecdote, is that in 1961 – well I was fifteen, so 1961, to get a Coca-Cola, you know, in the old bottles was five cents. A nickel where I lived. And when I was at Birdland and the waitress, scantily clad, came up to me – and I looked around and all the guys were ordering Cokes because [you] couldn’t drink anyway – but then she said, “Well, that’ll  be a dollar, sir.” I couldn’t believe it! [crowd laughs] This was my awakening into the real world. Forget the way she was dressed – that would have been enough – but a dollar for a Coca-Cola! So this was the big time.

And on that first night I saw Count Basie – and it was a Christmas break – Count Basie and Gerry Mulligan, [with] a little jazz group he had, a nine-piece group. In any case, now I was an experienced Birdland visitor and within a few months I was taking my first girlfriend to Birdland. And not knowing who was playing, just “Oh well, let’s just go see Birdland” – [I] felt like a real big shot. We took the train. We ate at Mama Leone’s. And then we came up to 52nd and Broadway and there was a – what do you call it? – a placard on the street, and it said “Bill Evans Trio, John Coltrane Quintet.”

Now, I was just starting to read DownBeat, listen to jazz, and get familiar with just the names, let alone the music. The last two or three years up to that time, from when I was about 12, 13 years old, I was getting into it. And I only knew there was a picture of Coltrane playing the soprano. And I knew that he played the soprano and I said, “Oh, this is that guy I’ve been reading about who plays soprano saxophone.” So that was [indiscernible]. Of course, I didn’t know who Bill Evans was. In any case, we went in and Bill Evans is playing. This is a Saturday night, not unlike a Saturday night anywhere, for the most part. A little noisy and distracted, but they played. And I remember Bill Evans’ trio – it could have been Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian, I wouldn’t know – but they played and there was so much talking. I’ll never forget the piano player [Evans]. He just had his head down like this [Lieb demonstrates] and he never moved his head and he just played and [his playing] was very quiet. You could hardly hear him. It was like they were in their living room, you know. So it didn’t have much effect on me.

And then this [next] group came on and started playing. And I could not believe what I heard. First thing was that Coltrane, playing tenor saxophone, was playing in such a way that – to my ears and my limited knowledge at that time – it was not even practicing. It would be what I was having trouble with when I took the horn out [laughs] at home. High notes and squeaking and all the things that you would think you’re not supposed to be playing. … And I looked at the young lady [I was with] and I said, “Well, this is really something.” The other saxophone player, who ended up [being] Eric Dolphy, was a little bit more logical to me, a little more familiar. Those of you who are familiar with the history know that in a certain sense, Eric Dolphy, from the rhythmic standpoint, played in a way that was more reminiscent of bebop, and therefore more familiar. So, at least to my ear, I could say, “Well, OK, yeah, that guy can play. The other guy – what’s he doing practicing like that?” You know? And then, to finish this story, they started playing this one song and [my girlfriend] Julie says, “That’s from The Sound of Music.” I said, “Nah, no, there’s no way. These guys aren’t gonna play Julie Andrews tunes. I mean … that’s not happening.” Sure enough, it was “My Favorite Things,” which of course became Coltrane’s banner song, so to say.

In any case, whatever it was that evening that I saw, it impressed me. It was from then until he died that I saw him 20, 30 times. I mean, whenever he played New York with a group – and [at] that time it was the quartet with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison – whenever they played, I would be there. And in those days, groups played two weeks, sometimes three weeks, several times a year in New York. And there were a [few] clubs – the Village Vanguard, the Half Note downtown, and Birdland – [where] you could see a group two or three times during the year. I was in school, of course, so I’d go Friday night and Saturday night and go from nine to three, four in the morning, get home five in the morning, and have to deal with my parents with that.

But whatever this was, it compelled me to go see it. And for me, to get to the point of the story, it basically is the reason I’m sitting in front of you. My life has been determined by, in a certain way, that first night. I mean, the epiphany of seeing him [and] the years that followed. And over the years, having thought about it and now in recent years speaking about it so much, because of course as we get older – Billy and myself and Cecil, people like us – we are asked more and more to talk about the past and talk about our relationship to the past. And I have tried to figure out what it was that made me go to see that. I mean, I liked Elvis Presley. I wasn’t brought up with jazz, you know. My father listened to Tchaikovsky. I listened to Martin Block’s “Make Believe Ballroom,” and I loved rock ‘n’ roll. I loved the saxophone but I loved the saxophone through rock ‘n’ roll, not through jazz. I had never really heard it in jazz until this period. The first thing [I asked], just from the standpoint of curiosity, was “How can that be the same instrument that I have at home?” I remember saying to myself, on many occasions, “That cannot be the same instrument, called the tenor saxophone, that is lying in my case in Brooklyn, that this guy is playing.” Now I mean he must have come from another planet. That was the first shock. And then of course the thing that really did get to me – and I think a lot of us who did see Coltrane would relate to this – was the power and intensity, and the one word that prevails above all – honesty. It just seemed that this was the most honest thing I’ve ever seen. Before – well I wasn’t that old then, but certainly at that time, and since – there was absolutely not one ounce of show biz pretense, [or] playing around. I’m not going to say [it lacked] humor, but it was business. It was serious business. And now I don’t know if that appealed to my personality particularly or what, but whatever that was, I said, “If this is what this music can be, then this is something I must learn about.”

That’s basically what happened to me. And the rest is history and is the way I did it. I certainly didn’t understand the music. I am a little better at understanding the music 50 years later, or 40 years later, because of course I’m a better musician and I’ve studied it. And I realize some of the musical things that Coltrane did. But, what they were doing as a group and what Coltrane did as an artist in the time that he was on the planet was just beyond the call of duty. And those of us who were fortunate enough to see him could never forget it. It was like a flash that you would never forget. And [as] they say about spiritual work, whenever you do anything like meditation or any Eastern stuff: Once you see the light, it never goes out. You’re always drawn to it. And I think that anybody who saw Coltrane certainly, and certainly at that age for myself being in the most formative, most impressionable years, and playing music to some extent already, that made even more of an effect [on me]. So, that’s my relationship to Coltrane. And I’ve got to tell you, I mean in my mind, when I play, it’s just trying to get to that. That’s basically it. I mean, it’s very simple. There’s that, and then there’s everything else. [laughs] And everything else musically, and also everything else in life because really nothing I’ve ever felt or seen has been anything of that kind of magnitude. So with that, I would love to ask my very close brother – who I never have had a chance to say is one of the most important people in my life, musically and as a person, and I’m so glad that we are still playing together – 20, 30 years that we’ve been performing together – but I’d love for Billy to share his experiences. Please welcome Mr. Billy Hart. [applause]

[Indiscernible off-mike banter between Dave Liebman and Billy Hart as Hart comes down on stage and takes a seat at the table]


Billy Hart [BH]: All right, all right. [laughs] Let’s see. I’m older than you are.

DL: That’s for sure.

BH: [laughs] Well, I wouldn’t go that far. Anyway, but you know it’s funny. One of my first records was an Elvis Presley record.

DL: [indiscernible]

BH: Ah hah. But I also liked Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

DL: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?”

BH: That’s right. That was my favorite tune. Anyway, like you, that’s what I heard first. And I ended up being enchanted by this music, you know – Charlie Parker, Lester Young and so forth. I finally heard Coltrane on a record. In those days, they had the Columbia Record Club, and one of my friends, his father was in the club. And he had this Miles Davis record, Round Midnight. I think my favorite saxophone player at that time was Johnny Griffin, and then I heard this record. “All of You,” I think it was. And I mean I heard all of the tunes but his [Coltrane’s] solo on “All of You” just changed my life. I became a Coltrane fan immediately. Immediately. You know, it was everything that I believed in. Everything I believed in was in that song. So I just followed him around and then, of course, a lot like when [indiscernible] you lived in Brooklyn, I lived in Washington D.C. I lived in a total, pure total residential area with one apartment building in the whole area. But in that apartment building – on the ground floor of the apartment was a jazz club – five blocks from my house. And I got a chance to hear Coltrane with the Miles Davis sextet, with Bill Evans and Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. In fact, Jimmy Cobb joined the band [the] first week I heard the band. And in those days, [clubs] didn’t have air conditioners. They had [these] big huge fans, so if you were willing to just stand out in the cold in the winter time, you could look through the hole in the fan –

DL: [laughs]

BH: – and just hear this. Now of course, I was too young to get in, you know what I’m saying? But I could stand out there and hear John and his “sheets of sound” period, and see those guys. And it just went from then to now, from then to now. I was able to follow him. It was like a study. I was able to follow him from Round Midnight to actually hearing him in person with the sextet, which was obviously after he had rejoined Miles. And then by the time he got to his final period, when he was having some difficulty having a commercial appeal, I was already prepared for that. So I loved him even more then, you know. And then I was lucky enough to have some conversations with him.

DL: Tell us. What did you talk about?

BH: Well, let’s see. Well, of course, John was a very special kind of man in that he was interested in many things, you know. Spiritual things. But he liked coming around and hearing younger guys play. So I used to play in the afternoons. Joe Chambers played piano, Walter Booker played the bass, and I would play the drums. And [on] more than one occasion, John would come to these matinees if he was in town. I just remember seeing him walking in the door and I’d say, “Oh my god, John, please, please don’t come in here.” But, anyway, he would come in and encourage us. I heard from Wayne Shorter that he [Coltrane] met Wayne’s parents. He was very interested seemingly in younger musicians. So as I began to become more of a professional and I would see him, he would inquire as to my progress. All the way up to the point where he finally actually asked me if I would like to sit in [with] the band. [To Liebman] Did I tell you that part? Yeah. Of course, I didn’t do it. [laughs] So we had a number of conversations. … We discussed Elvin Jones at one point as I was trying to get away from sitting in with the band. I asked him, “Well, what are you going to do about Elvin?” And he said, “I’m not going to do anything about him because I don’t want to hurt myself.”  Elvin was a few minutes late that day. So I began to talk about Elvin and he began to give me all of these insights that seemed to be important to him. And one of the things he said to me was, “I don’t care how tense the situation gets, Jones never tightens up.” And that was a huge lesson for me in just thinking positively. I mean, that was a lesson. That no matter how tense a situation gets or how bad a situation gets, if you can relax and see through it, it’d be easier to find a solution. And that was a lesson that keeps coming back. And hearing his words saying that, again, has inspired and reminded me over the years of how to conduct my life. …

And then I remember having a conversation in California with him once during his last period, during the really, really least commercial period, as far as I know, of his career. And again, I said, “John, what are you gonna do about this?” And he said, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” he said, “but I know I can’t stop.” [pauses] And then he looked at me and he said, “You know, man, the kids know, the kids will know.” And I guess, again, his faith in the future is still very inspiring for me. And you know, I feel the same way. I feel that he could see the future. He could see the benefit of the future, you know. He could see what he was trying to do. And they asked one more thing. I remember hearing about a press conference, and they said, “Mr. Coltrane, exactly what are you trying to do with your music?” And he said “I simply want to be a force for good.” And for somebody [who] has any spiritual inclinations, there’s no bigger inspiration for me than that.

DL: I want to ask you something else. I want to ask you one thing because you probably witnessed this as I did. Coltrane was famous for his practicing. Obsessive practicing, it could be called, in the clubs and so forth. Do you remember ever seeing him when you’d walk in at the breaks and –

BH: Many times, many times.

DL: – he’d be in the back.

BH: The first time I remember seeing it was when he was still in Miles Davis’ band. And in those days, you didn’t have jazz festivals but you had these jazz shows that would come through town. I’m from Washington D.C. and they had a theater very similar to the Apollo Theater. It was called the Howard Theater, near Washington D.C. So you could have a big band, a comedian, a vocalist, and two or three small bands. And I remember Miles always liked to go on first, right? And so John would play with Miles. And once [when] I was able to go backstage, I realized that John would play with Miles and just practice through the rest of the show and during the intermission of the show, and only come up [laughs] to play with Miles again at the beginning of the next show. There’d be three or four shows a day in those days. So, that’s the first time I saw it. And then I remember going to Birdland. John was playing opposite Charles Mingus. And I remember you couldn’t really hear him practicing during Charles’ set but [you could] during the comedian, [who] was Flip Wilson. He [Wilson] constantly had to say, “Would somebody please go and tell [laughs] Mr. Coltrane to keep it down while I’m – .” Whoever he sent [to ask Coltrane to be quiet] wasn’t successful and [indiscernible]. … I guess this guy went to sit in [laughs], you know. I just remember him saying that. But yeah, I’m very familiar with Coltrane just practicing constantly.

DL: Yeah. Jimmy Heath story. This is from a couple months ago when we had this panel. He said that they used to do a matinee at the Showboat. In those days, you had [a] Sunday matinee often in the clubs – Vanguard had it, Jazz Workshop had it. You’d play four until seven usually, something like that, for the kids or whatever. It was great. And of course, it still meant you had to play at night. It wasn’t like you got off. So that was a four-setter or a five-setter, depending how business was on Sunday. And this was in [the] Showboat and Jimmy Heath, who grew up with Trane – they’re same age and so forth – he says [to Coltrane], “Come on back, my mom will make some dinner for you on the break, you know, 7 o’clock.” So, John says, “OK. I’m gonna take my horn.” So, Jimmy doesn’t think anything of it. They go back to his house. You know, this is West Philly. They had to go cross-town, whatever. They get there and John says … you know, she starts cookin’ and he says, “I’m gonna go upstairs for awhile, Jimmy.” He goes upstairs, he takes the horn out, he starts practicing upstairs. [audience laughs] Jimmy’s got to call [him]. He says, “John, you got to eat. We got to go back. You got to open [at] 9:30, man.” He [Coltrane] says, “Oh, OK, OK.” He comes down and eats, but I mean, he did not stop. He got in the house, he practiced right up until dinner, he went back and, of course, played two or three sets. I remember Reggie [Workman] … saying that if [Coltrane] wasn’t practicing, he was sleeping. This is what it was. And the thing about it is that when you hear what Coltrane did –. I mean, there are lots of kinds of innovations, in music and in art and so forth. And there are some innovations that are tied, intrinsically tied, to the technical aspect of it. I mean, part of it is tied to the technical aspect of it. Sure there’s other things, of course. [But] somebody who pushes the envelope technically, somewhere along the line, has got to do their homework. That doesn’t come from the air. It doesn’t come from just great thinking or great inspiration. There has to be, in that type of innovation, man hours spent somewhere along the line. And when you listen to Coltrane – the musicians who are here know this – what he did musically, and on the saxophone particularly, are the kinds of things that had to be practiced. These were not theoretical things that could just be intimated at.

Let me give you an example. Miles Davis: innovator, conceptualizer, great band leader. Miles Davis was not a practicer, that’s for sure. He did not sit and woodshed the instrument. I’m sure at a certain period he did, when he was younger. But [during] my time with him … he didn’t take out the horn. And he was kind of proud of it, in a way, you know, like, [imitates Miles’ speaking voice] “Well, I don’t have to do that.” You know? [audience laughs] But, of course, after playing 40 years of eight nights a week, or whatever they did, that’s understandable. And yet, Miles made contributions. And there are other musicians like that. But Coltrane’s kinds of contributions – at least a good part of them – were really predicated on this incredible amount of just digital fingers sitting down and shedding that instrument. Just getting it all together. So, it was like his art demanded that he do it. And it fit his personality. That’s an interesting thing that somebody brought up recently. Number one, of course, this religious thing is very interesting, you know, because the father was a preacher or deacon or –

BH: Somebody in the family.

DL: – in the family who died young. When Coltrane was 12 years old, the father died. So this religious aspect of Coltrane’s later period [indiscernible] plainly put out there with A Love Supreme and, of course, all this stuff at the end that we’ll talk about a little later, seems maybe it could tie in with that. And the other thing is that, it seems that when the father died, Coltrane kind of got – as can happen, of course – isolated. You know, you go into your shell as a reaction to the death of a parent. And he was immediately – like, at that point, 13, 14 years old – he was already practicing like a maniac. You know, this was maybe a way of finding solace for that event that happens [to] a young boy, you know. For anybody. In any respect, that was one of the most notable things about his modis operandi, his practicing thing. One of the main points of Coltrane’s development is that in his 12 years on the scene – and we have really a 12-year period – [in]1955 he begins with Miles, let’s say ’56, and he dies in ’67, and in ’67 he only did a few things, so it’s almost 10 or 11 years, if you really look at it, of recording and of working – in that period, he covered the complete history of jazz. And we refer to it – and Billy just did, when Billy said he saw him with Miles – we’re talking about what we call early Coltrane. You know, we say early, middle and late, of course. And early Coltrane is his period with Miles Davis, primarily. And among that is his time with Theloneous Monk, which has lately [received] a lot of publicity because of the release of some of these recordings that he did with Monk. He was with Monk for like a four-, five-month period, and that of course was part of his development as a musician. Monk and Miles. And at that same time in the fifties – ’56, ‘57, ‘58, ‘59 – he was recording as a band leader. [He] made many of the records on … Prestige … of what we call the standard material – playing the standards of the day, which is pretty much what the musicians were expected to do at that time – and some originals, but a lot of standards.

Of course, 1959 is a breaking point with Coltrane. In jazz [it’s] a very important year, actually. I don’t know how many people realize but … musicians certainly know what “Giant Steps” is, [both] as a tune and as a progression, [a] harmonic progression that’s overwhelmingly difficult. Certainly at that time it was. And unusual. It was a chord progression that had not been seen, at least in jazz, at that time, and certainly not at the speed at which Coltrane recorded it on his very first recording called Giant Steps. And [Giant Steps] was recorded within a month or two of the [Miles Davis] Kind of Blue record, of which Coltrane is a major part. In fact, Kind of Blue maybe is the great classic record of all modern jazz. So, we have Coltrane in 1959 reaching the absolute height of harmonic intensity, speed, dexterity and all the kinds of things that you would have to do to play “Giant Steps.” And then, on the other hand, you have the popularization of the style that was going to become Coltrane’s mode for the next four or five years with the great quartet. [It’s] what we call modal playing, which is really non-harmonic, non-melodic modulating chords, and staying pretty much on the one scale. Without getting too technical, it’s almost a complete opposite, in a certain way. And within a month, he was recording both and it was the beginning of the middle period then. Coltrane left Miles in ’60 and became a band leader. In those days, when you were with Miles Davis, pretty much, after Miles Davis it was incumbent, expected, and you had to, become a band leader. If you hadn’t been [one] before, you had to [become one] after that, because there was no other sideman gig. When you played with Miles, [it] was the top of the food chain, as far as being hired. After that, you were expected to have a presentation of music and, you know, usually you had the opportunity. I know, even in the ‘70s, I had the same opportunity. It was “What are you going to do now that you’ve reached that?”

And Coltrane was certainly ready, and within a few months a couple changes of personnel [occurred]. He got Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner, who is 22 years old and had known John from Philadelphia. These guys kind of grew up together and played sessions together and so forth. McCoy told me recently when I was with him [that] he remembers one time – it was a summer day – and they [McCoy and John] were sitting on the porch [at] his mother’s house. She had a beauty salon or something. John was about eight years older or something, eight, ten years older, and anyway he was like an older brother. And he said to McCoy, “You’re gonna play with me someday, son. I know you’re gonna play with me.” Now, of course McCoy was already a whiz kid, you know. And Jimmy Garrison is from Philadelphia. So there’s a connection there of guys who grew up together. And in jazz, that’s often the case. Musicians who’ve come up together in a geographical location, or in jam sessions, usually end up working together and usually end up hiring each other. So, that was the great quartet, what’s called the classic quartet, and that’s the group that I described seeing. And that’s from 1960-61 through around 1965-66.

Then in ’66, what we call late Coltrane [began], which [was] really only about a year or two of development, but a really intense period as far as recording goes, and certainly as [far] as the music goes. [It] became very free, abstract, expressionistic, whatever word you want to [use to] describe [it]. Some people would say chaotic and noisy. Usually there were more than several horn players playing at the same time. The whole format of what Coltrane did in the late period was completely different than [what] he had done before. There was not “[start] the song, play the chords, play a chorus, go back to the song, next song.” It was just one song – usually for an hour and a half. And everybody [was] just playing, almost all the time, together, in constant polyphony. And this is what Billy is referring to as “not being popular.” I mean, you’ve got to really think about this. Jazz was still a very small aspect of [the] entertainment business in those days. But still, within jazz, there were minor hits. A guy could have a tune that’d find itself on a jukebox. In those days, you know, you had a jukebox. You put a quarter in and you got three tunes. And Miles certainly had some things. “Round Midnight” was in the jukebox.  Lee Morgan’s “Sidewinder” became popular. Horace Silver’s “Songs for my Father;” Brubeck’s “Take Five;” “Girl from Ipanema” – songs kind of leaked through. And they made single versions of these tunes to fit the two- or three-minute format. And, of course, “My Favorite Things” was actually out there and it was a hit. I mean, it made Coltrane [known] to the jazz public, people who love jazz. Everybody knew “My Favorite Things.” And I’ll tell you a story about that in a minute, about playing that every night. He played “My Favorite Things” all the time. He even played it during his late period.

But by late ’64, he made a record called [A] Love Supreme, [which] is a seminal recording in the history of jazz for a variety of reasons. It sums up the quartet, musically. Technically, there are issues but take my word for it – it sums it up musically. And also on there is a great poem he wrote to “A Love Supreme” – his acknowledgement of the presence and the power of the love of God. Non-denominational, by the way. And from then on, every title of every tune he did, at least I think so, is a title that has something to do with spiritual powers,  manifestation, cosmos, expression, transition, to be, pursuance. You know, “Dear Lord” – it goes on and on. So this definitely marked the last part of Coltrane’s life. And there was an open acknowledgement of the spiritual aspect of the music. Of course, he was interested in Indian music and all that, but it wasn’t “I belong to this group or this thing.” It was just, you know, A Love Supreme. It was very non-denominational. I thought that was very powerful. And he lost a lot of popularity [as a result].

There’s one concert in particular, I’ll never forget this. [It] was called “Titans of the Tenor Saxophone” at Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall, 1966. Now, this was a big thing at that time. There weren’t that many [jazz] concerts in concert halls. It still was rather rare. It was mostly clubs. And this [concert] was billed [featuring] Stan Getz, and Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, I think Al Cohn … and I went with my friend. Twenty-five dollars – which [back] then would be like a hundred dollar ticket [today]. We saw Dexter play. Everybody played ten minutes, fifteen minutes, like you do when you have these large gatherings, everybody has a couple of tunes they play. And Sonny Rollins [was] there, the other great master, at that time, of the saxophone. He played a couple of tunes and not really much [was] happening. But then later, [into] the microphone, he said, “I’ll be back later with John Coltrane.” Well, [pauses] the people went crazy because what an event [this] would be to have Coltrane and Sonny Rollins together, which had only occurred one time before, in a recording [session] ten years earlier. In any case, the second set opened and it’s Coltrane for the set – so it seems – and he walks on the stage and he has Alice Coltrane [with him]. He’s holding her hand and they walk out, followed by a stream of ten guys. There was J.C. Moses and Rashied [Waits], of course. Albert and Donald Ayler. I think Marion Brown. Everitt Shepp, you know. Pharoah [Sanders], of course. And cats carrying shopping bags of percussion instruments, like [they had] just come off the street with, you know, tambourines and bells and chimes. And, you know, this all gets on the stage there like that. Now this is Lincoln Center, you understand. So, everybody’s like, “Hmmm, this is [indiscernible] ….” And these people [in the audience] are not necessarily the people who have been at the Village Vanguard hearing him do this already. This was then rather new for Coltrane, you know. Anyway, they start up and they start rattling around and playing and just warming [up] – [Dave mimics the Coltrane group’s sounds] – like that kind of stuff. And Alice [is] doing a lot of arpeggios and they’re shaking the stuff. And it’s just getting going a couple of minutes and people are [wondering] “What’s this gonna be?” Then [Coltrane] goes on the microphone and he starts chanting, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” right? Like, you know, out with the heaviest chant, the chant of the Tibetan thing. You know, that’s the one. You don’t go there unless you are [laughs] serious. And he starts “Om Mani Padme Hum” and he’s kind of singing it. And now people are really starting to move around. [Liebman demonstrates how they were moving – laughter from audience]. Then he takes the soprano [saxophone] and he starts “My Favorite Things.” Well, he saved the day! Ahhhhhh – everybody applauds, you know. It’s like a hit tune, right? And he starts playing the melody of “My Favorite Things.” He plays the melody and after that, an hour and a half of complete pandemonium. [laughs] No soloist. Everybody plays at the same time. And it’s Lincoln Center, which can hardly take a drum let alone two sets of drums, you know, sound-wise. Anyway, half the audience left. I’ll never forget it. I mean people were actually up and out of their seats like, “Oh no, what’s this?” You know, like, “What’s going on here?” I mean … they’re expecting “Favorite Things”, maybe A Love Supreme. In any case, it was very brave of him to do what he did. And [like] what Billy said, of course, he had no choice. He was compelled, musically and spiritually, to go there. And maybe [he had] a premonition … that he might not have many more years left.

BH: Physically.

DL: That may have certainly been part of it because his health was not the greatest. Throughout his life [it] was not the greatest. … At any case, the thing that really marks Coltrane’s star is the covering of these three periods. His early, middle and late periods. If you would take one aspect of that, musically, you could spend the rest of your life studying it. We always used to say, Coltrane’s left toe – I mean, if you took only that, you’d have a lifetime worth of study, let alone the various things that he did. And of course, in this case … he had this incredible group that was just so simpatico and so with him and so on the same plane musically, and so able to support what he did. You know, you often think in music, if so-and-so hadn’t been with so-and-so, what would it have been like? And, of course, you can always think about that, and especially in jazz, which is group music. If Charlie Parker hadn’t had Dizzy – you know, whatever. You can go on and on like that. You gotta say [that] without McCoy and Jimmy and Elvin – I mean certainly Coltrane was Coltrane before that – but that [group] was [playing on] another level because of [their] empathy and the way they saw the music and the way they understood it. And they didn’t rehearse. We know that because they tell us. McCoy said they’d come in and he’d start playing a melody or something that he’d come up with, and they’d starting fooling around, never say much about it, and after two or three nights the song would take shape. And that would be the repertoire that they had. In our music, recorded since 1917, coming up to a hundred years, the thing about this group is that it stands really apart for the intensity and the amount of musical area that they covered as a quartet. And Coltrane – on top [for] a ten-year period, like a meteor that came and went. It’s just incredible.

DL: Now, I’m gonna play you one thing from the beginning [Coltrane period] and one thing from the end, just to make this mark. And then, if you have some questions – [To Hart] Anything you want to say on this? [indiscernible] OK, now look, this is nice. The first thing I’m going to play is from 1951. Now Coltrane began on alto saxophone. It’s well known. And he loved Charlie Parker, which of course, everybody did. And from what we can gather it seemed – very much like I felt in some ways – like [Coltrane felt], “What more could you play?” So, he went to tenor. And tenor at that time was dominated by basically three people: Coleman Hawkins, who is considered the father of the tenor saxophone, coming from the ‘20s; Lester Young, who made his innovations slightly later; and at that time, for bebop and for the Charlie Parker style, the main voice on tenor was Dexter Gordon. Now what’s interesting is that when you hear Coltrane, you can hear the very strong influences of Lester Young, and certainly Dexter Gordon. And some people say Stan Getz. Well, it’s Stan Getz through Lester Young, because Lester Young is the beginning of that way of playing. So Coltrane, beginning on alto, goes to tenor, and is playing the gigs of the day, what musicians did in those days – clubs, bars, [a] lot of blues, dance music, and of course, in big bands. Now, this is a group that Dizzy Gillespie [hired]. I guess [Dizzy] knew about Coltrane or knew that this was a young guy to be reckoned with. And we’re going to listen to something from 1951. And it’s [turns away from microphone to talk to Billy Hart] Tad Dameron on “Good Bait”?

BH: Yeah, I think …

DL: Tad. “Good Bait.” Tad Dameron. [Dave plays a recording of Coltrane’s solo on Tad Dameron’s “Good Bait” for the audience]

Yeah, very interesting. Now I want to move to [Coltrane’s] time with Johnny Hodges, who of course is the alto player supreme with Duke Ellington. [Hodges] went on his own for a short period, left Duke for a minute, started his own little band, and hired Coltrane. Of course, Johnny Hodges is a great hero to all alto players. Phil Woods will tell you that. I mean, he’s the god of alto sound. And here [Coltrane] is now playing in this band. This [tune] became rather famous. [It] kind of became a little popular, this tune. It’s a blues – “Castle Rock” – you really hear a very big blues influence, and almost an R & B influence, which is really kind of where your rock ‘n’ roll starts from. [Lieb plays a recording of “Castle Rock,” featuring Coltrane in the Johnny Hodges band]

Now, jazz – it’s changed a bit. But in those days, and I’d say up until the recent time, you had to play the blues and you had to play a ballad. You also had to play “Cherokee” fast as hell. There were certain requirements – not like anybody wrote them down, although now it’s part of a course, of course. But, in those days, there were certain requirements. And blues [was] certainly one of them, and you hear that influence. With Trane, there’s one thing that you always hear, no matter how far away the music goes from tonality [or] how complex the rhythm becomes. There’s always this sense of the blues scale that comes into the music. [Ravi Coltrane enters the stage and takes a seat at the table]. Please welcome Ravi Coltrane. [applause; indiscernible greetings and conversation among the panel participants off microphone]

I’m going to finish my thought and then introduce you. [To Ravi] I was listening to “Castle Rock” and telling them, talking about John [in] ’54 with the blues, and then on “Good Bait.” I [played] “Good Bait” [from] ’51 before you came in. And now I just want to play this and then get you in on it.

[Speaking again to the audience] So blues was de rigueur. You had to be able to play blues. And you had to play a ballad. And I still say the same thing to all the students, you know. In the end, it’s the ballad that will be the thing that gets across to the people. In the end. Because let’s face it, when it’s slow and clear, you’ve got a chance to catch on. Nobody’s different in this respect. And also, for the musician, it’s a chance to slow things down. It’s a chance to think about sound and phrasing that you don’t ordinarily think about, at least [not] in the front or at the high part of the performance when you are playing faster. So, I just want to play this because it’s really very revealing about where already John is at in 1954, and also [of] what you hear later on, when he starts doing his own recordings and playing his own material. So, this is from the same period. “Don’t Blame Me” – ’54. [Dave plays Coltrane’s live recording of “Don’t Blame Me” from 1954]

Billy [was] saying [to me] he didn’t know there was so much already in place by 1954. I mean, it’s incredible. And a couple of interesting things – every time I hear this [I hear] something different. The real arpeggiated style is already very clear. The up and down on the chords. Also, the way he goes to the five chord, he’s right [indiscernible] altering immediately. And the other thing is that sliding portamento. We call it portamento. It means to slide, you know, sizzle, or whatever. And Dexter, of course, had that, but that’s really [a] Johnny Hodges’ thing – how you go into the note, but you come from the notes below. John did that quite a bit in the ‘60s whenever he’d play a ballad, whenever you hear him play in the high register. But here you already hear the beginnings of him sliding in, especially in the higher register. And the other thing about Trane that was a little different [from] the other guys, and I think it’s maybe [a] Johnny Hodges thing also, it’s [that] the call is melismatic. It’s florid. It’s like the note is here – if you’re looking for a note, there’s a G, right? But when you see a G, you see [hums a few notes]. You see everything around the G before you get to the G. It’s all the dressing.

If you look at Bach’s music, you see that there’s all these symbols for it with all the turns. It was a very important part of Bach’s music, these little turns and grupettos and appogiaturas and so forth. And Trane really uses that a lot, especially when he plays a melody. He just goes to a note, but before he gets to that note, he’s gonna do a little dance on it. Up a half step, down a half step. He’s going to fool around with it … so that you get a note, but you’re getting a whole story on that note, which also enabled him to be very literal with the melodies. Because when you think about Trane in respect to, for example, someone like Sonny … Sonny was very quick to change the melody and change the notes. Certainly the rhythm. Miles was very fast to change the notes. I mean he didn’t care much about [the notes], you know. Melody wasn’t holy to him. But Trane really played [the melodies], and especially during this period from when he was doing standards right up to ’60. It’s clear that he’s a pretty literal player, but with this florid, melismatic approach that makes it sound like it’s the song, but [he’s] an interpreter. It’s almost classical in a way. It’s very interesting, and you can really hear it already.

Ravi, we were talking [earlier] and I asked Billy [this] question, and … certainly for you, what is your relationship, musically, to the music of your father? And where do you go with that?

Ravi Coltrane [RC]: Well, forgive my lateness, by the way. And the fact that there’s less time doesn’t make it any easier to answer a question like that. It’s almost impossible to put in words, you know. I am a part of his family, but I’m also drawn to what he created – his work, his art, his music. So how I deal with that music is not that different than most people who go to it when they feel that the gravity of it is sort of pulling you in towards it, you know? And I heard that music at a very young age. But like most young kids, we don’t really pay attention [laughs] to things that require that much focus and discipline to really connect with him, to understand. I think this music, of course, is so universal. Just the sound of it alone is enough for most people to connect with. But the intricate, the detail-oriented nature of this music requires a kind of focus, one that I didn’t have as a younger person. But when I finally heard it – and it really started to speak to me in a way that I hadn’t recognized – I was much older. I was a teenager when the music started to speak to me. It was always something that I thought was cool, and I appreciated, and it was like, wow, this is my father. But as a kid … I wasn’t a disciplined kid or a real focused person. I was the average kind of kid, trying to have some fun. But when the music started to speak to me, then it kind of just informed me that, yes, there’s more to life than just riding your bike and having a good time as a kid. There are deeper pursuits to occupy our time. And so when I finally came to it, it was, I assume, for the same reason that anyone comes to this music. You know what I mean? They hear something that turns them on and you do that. You’re going this way and then the next [moment], you’re going that way. And that’s what it was like for me. It’s like that for all of us, you know. Something touches us and it moves us in a certain direction.

I always enjoyed music. I played clarinet in junior high and in high school. But when the jazz music came in, I wanted to play saxophone, of course. I just had a desire to be a part of that music. It wasn’t anything I felt I had to do or needed to do. Or “I need to play like my father. I need to only focus on this.” I just had a general sort of desire for this thing that was very, very new to me suddenly. This music was like a buried treasure all of sudden. It was like, “Oh there’s this and there’s this and there’s this.” And hearing some of this music for the first time, [that’s] when you start to explore and go deeper and deeper. There were always the early Impulse records that were nearby in the house. So if we wanted to put them on as kids, we could get to those. But music like this and the music he made with Miles, that was stuff I discovered after I had to have this calling. And to hear “Milestones” for the first time, or any of that music, it’s kind of shocking. It’s mind blowing. I think that I’ve always just had a kind, loving regard for his music, you know. I never knew him as a man. He passed away when I was two. So the music was sort of there, kind of informing me about who he was as a man. And so for a long time, that was kind of it for me. This is John Coltrane. And this is Sonny Rollins, you know. And this is Bird. And it was easy for me to kind of see him as that, you know what I mean?

DL: You were not –

RC: [To] separate the father from John Coltrane.

DL: And the other thing is this: You are several generations – if you measure ten years as a generation, which is more than one, if not two – below Jabali [Billy Hart] and myself. And I’m interested in [hearing] from you – as a member of a different generation musically – your interests, of course, your influences. How does it go for you? See, we’ve been talking about how it was for us because we had a personal –. I mean, I saw him. [Billy Hart] knew him. Like from that standpoint. From a musical standpoint, I’m really curious where your generation, or you, sees John. Is it like the way I saw Bird? Like some mythical thing? I mean, I just couldn’t believe it [Bird’s music] even existed. I’m talking musically now, you know.

RC: Yeah, yeah. It’s probably very similar to that, you know. If we start thinking of Bach and Mozart, we don’t even have to go that far sometimes. There are people who we weren’t around in [their] time to have that other type of connection or relationship to their work. We have the great benefit of the fact that these guys were so well documented and recorded that we are close to them for those reasons. You know, if you’re in a situation with a cat and you’re hearing him and working with him, maybe you’re influenced in some way as a member of his band or something. You know when you talked to Elvin or McCoy about John and that period, their take was very different than my generation’s, or [different from] people who were around at that time but perhaps [were] not that close to what was happening. I think perspective has a lot to do with how we perceive the music and how we deal with it. Our primary relationship with John today is from these recordings.

With me, there are sort of some gray areas, you know. My mother always informed me about who he was and what he was like as a man, on the stage, off the stage. And this particular tune, she remembers when he was doing this or when they were in the studio. So, that will kind of add to the color of it, to the scope of it. It’s big enough. But when you know that this was a man who – [laughs] … he bought a Jaguar in the mid-sixties. Like, he couldn’t drive a stick [laughs], a manual transmission. And my mother could. She showed him how to drive this car. Somehow he got it from a [car] lot to the house in Huntington [NY]. You know what I mean? You know? Just knowing that he was a man, a regular guy – I won’t say regular guy. He was an extraordinary guy, of course. But I mean the fact that he didn’t come from another planet. He wasn’t this angel that descended to earth and picked up a horn. He was a human being. And he created all of that wonderful music as a human being, as a man on this earth. It’s almost like a disservice for some, for me, for people, to put him in this sort of higher-than-human kind of thing. He was flesh and blood just like us. And he did all these great things. And we have the potential to do that as well, you know. I don’t know. I think it’s a very deep subject. It’s really –

DL: I’ve got to say one thing, man – I’m going to say this in front of [the audience] because you know [we have] a lot friends here. I don’t want to embarrass you, but man, [laughs] … to be the heir to, et cetera et cetera, regardless that you were so young when he passed. I mean, that, and your mom, and her recent passing, and everything like that. The way you handle it is beyond the call of duty. It’s really remarkable. And musically, which of course you know I just totally respect. And how you handle it publicly, because it’s not an easy position to be in. As you say, he’s being mythologized, as we speak. It’s only going to grow. It will only grow more. And that is always the thing – the people who knew him, knew him as a person and a human being. And, as they pass on, there’s even less to inform people that this guy didn’t know how to take a Jaguar from the parking lot. [audience laughs] You dig? [more laughter] And I just compliment you, man. I think it’s unbelievable to be able to deal with that. I remember our talk 30 years ago about that. But, you know, you’ve handled it great and you know I respect that. And, folks, we have a couple of minutes, and then [I’d] just like to play one thing that’s really a wonderful performance of “Favorite Things.” I’m going to tell you a story about that before we do it. Is there anything you’d like to ask any of us? Yeah, my man.

[An audience member asks Ravi Coltrane a question but, due to the lack of an audience  microphone, it is indiscernible on the tape. The question generally asks who owns the rights to any previously unreleased John Coltrane music and about the likelihood that any new John Coltrane recordings might be released in the future]

RC: Well, yeah, of course, we’re partners with the record company, really. I mean it’s our music and we own it, but the record company pays for it. They will always own the rights to it. So, when there are things that the family wants to do that the record company also wants to do, that’s usually when it happens. There’s music coming out of the woodwork. There’s always something. But the things that we consider for release, you know, are –. My mother, when she was here, realized that yes, that there were things that [he] wanted people to hear and things that he didn’t want people to hear. Just like any artist has that choice when he’s, you know, sitting down writing his novel. If he doesn’t like that word, he erases it. Noone ever knows, sees it or hears it or whatever. A musician should have that right as well. If he’s doing several takes in a studio and says, “That’s the one,” that usually means that’s the one. [laughs] But when we get to this place in history and we start to look back at these great, great creators, we start to want it. Yeah, we need all that stuff, the extra stuff, you know what I mean? There are some [recordings] where you feel like, okay, maybe I can understand why he picked this take. And there are some times you feel like, well, this is John Coltrane. He could never play a bad take. And there is never a wrong note, and there’s never a moment when it’s not going to give you something, some information about his process. To me, that’s the really exciting part of it too – to hear the process of it. These guys were working. They were not just going in there [with] this magic just happening and then leaving the studio. They worked, you know. They put it together. And John was very specific about what he wanted in the studios, you know, what he wanted from those recordings. So a long story short, yeah, I think there’s a lot of great music out there. Hopefully, some things will start to appear pretty soon, but we’ll see.

DL: Anybody else? Okay, I’m going to tell you a story, and then we’ll watch something, and then we’ll see you at eight o’clock. This is about “My Favorite Things,” this signature tune that I discussed with you. I had the chance to work with Elvin Jones in the ‘70s. I was a young musician and quite intimidated, to say the least. Not that he was like that, it was just me, you know. It wasn’t him. He couldn’t have been nicer, actually. But I would never ask him all the things I wanted to ask him. But then in the ‘80s we did a couple of gigs in Italy and I had some time with him alone. … And we were on the train one day in Italy, and we had a little Chianti, and we were feeling no pain, and I said, “Elvin, man, I always wanted to ask you this question.” I said, “I saw you a couple dozen times, and every time I saw you, you played ‘My Favorite Things’.” “Now,” I said – now remember, I’d had my wine at that point – so I said, “How many times do you think you’ve played ‘My Favorite Things’?” This is a real Liebman type of question, right? So he says – and of course, you’ve got to know Elvin – his face, his manner, that big face with those big teeth and those eyes. And the amount of life in this cat’s face was ridiculous, let alone the way he played. … And he said [imitates Jones’ speaking voice], “Well, you know, I played with John for six years, and we played six nights, sometimes seven. And a matinee. And we played three sets, sometimes four. And sometimes we played ‘My Favorite Things’ twice a night.” [audience laughs] He said – of course now this takes ten minutes to come out, right? And then he says, “Now, Lieb, you tell me how many times?” [laughter] So I said, “I’ll do that.” I gave – [Cecil McBee arrives on stage] – Mr. McBee. Please welcome Mr. Cecil McBee. [audience applauds] … Sir.  It’s a pleasure to see you, my man. [other onstage conversation indiscernible].

DL: So, [more applause] I counted up, I counted up 300 times six and I … came to 1800, or something like that. So I said, “I don’t know, 1800?” I don’t know, something like that, to Elvin – told him how many times they played “My Favorite Things.” We’re joking around. He said, “Well, I don’t know how many goddam times.” [That’s] the way he talked, you know. “I don’t know how many goddam times we played it,” he said, “but I’ll tell you one thing. We played it every night like there’d be no tomorrow.” And, of course, he put that face up in your face. And he’s making the point, which was – and I always say this to my students, and I’ve got to remember it some days myself – if you knew you wouldn’t be here tomorrow, just think about how you’d play tonight. I mean, in our thing, you know. [But] that could be true of anybody [who is] doing something they love. If you [thought] that tomorrow would be the cutoff time, if you could ever know that, and you have your last tune, last chorus, you’d be sure to be hitting that as hard as you could, I think. So, Elvin was saying that that’s the way he played that tune. And they did play it every night. [An] interesting thing about “My Favorite Things,” from the musical standpoint before we look at this version, is that he was able to take this “ditty” … and transform it, which is the first level. But he didn’t just transform it once. Those of us who know Trane’s style in an intimate way know that it’s his style even within, as I say, the middle period. You know when you say the middle period, you could almost go year-by-year there, also. As his style changed, with the same … three other people, the way they played “My Favorite Things” changed. It was still “My Favorite Things” – Richard Rogers and [The] Sound of Music – and still that melody, that little lilting melody. But the way they treated the tune and the mode and everything like that, changed as the group changed. And in fact, for those that are interested, there’s the original version from Atlantic which is ’60, and then there’s a great version with, at that time, Roy Haynes, who was taking Elvin’s place for a couple of months, from Newport ‘63, which is quite different. And then, [there] couldn’t be [a] more different version [than] from a record called Live at the Village Vanguard Again, which is 1966, which is part of what we call the late period. Of course, now there are many, many live recordings around and available. You can almost trace it day-by-day. But if you just had those three, in a way, that kind of capsulizes the development of that particular classic quartet that I was discussing. So, just to finish up today, we’ll – actually, Cecil, while you’re here, though – you had your relationship with John Coltrane. Anything you can impart that was personal to you – you played with him, or met him, or –

Cecil McBee [CM]: Well, quite ironically, this is a big surprise to be sitting here. I sat in the car about 30 minutes waiting for you guys to show up, so [laughs and audience laughs] I was right outside. So, [laughs] I’m in good shape here. But, [laughs] this is like, “Whoaa, what am I doing here?” [audience laughs] It was, I guess, when was that – Trane died in ’68, right?

DL: Sixty seven.

CM: Sixty seven. Ok, it was around two weeks before Trane passed away. I was living uptown, Upper West Side. … [to Billy Hart] We were practicing with Wayne Shorter, remember that? … And at one of our rehearsals, Wayne was experimenting at the time. You and I and he were … [for] two or three months, we’re back and forth two or three times a week. And he told me in the interim, he said, “Look, I talked to Trane the other day. He said he called you but you were not at home. He wanted you to participate in some of his performances.” And I was on the road at the time when he called. So that was the closest I got to Trane. And afterthought says that given my approach to my instrument – which I shall say at this particular time, unsaid before – that as a bassist, Trane has been conceptually, harmonically, my greatest influence. For my own selfish purposes, creatively, I’ve sought to avoid listening to bass players for what I would like to do because the periphery has always inspired me towards other things, although I have the greatest respect for most bass players out there. But Trane, harmonically, was just – speaking of “My Favorite Things” and other aftereffects of creativity – Trane epitomized what I came to realize as a professional improviser. That basically, improvised music is about adding something to a given situation. For instance, you have a B-flat minor chord. If you add something to that situation, you need to give it some other type of creativity or creative substance. Or you take something away. Or you leave it alone. All right? The parallel to that is – given Trane’s overall elegance of creativity, from all levels of improvisation – the mirror of that is understanding [that] most things can be played so long as there’s movement from one situation to another. For instance, you’ve got a bar containing so many beats, so much activity within that bar. Fine, you can do whatever you want within that bar. But leaving that bar and crossing the bar line into another situation is most important. Getting across the bar line into the other situation is most important. And so you have the flow and you have the momentum towards conclusions and towards beginnings of other things. Adding something to a given situation, leaving it alone, or taking something away – given the motion from one situation to another, by understanding how long to hold onto a tone … when to cut it short, or leave it alone entirely – is the foundation of creativity, given the energy that fuels us, which is rhythm, et cetera, et cetera. So, Trane he just [indiscernible] just forget all that, you know. Everything was available given the fuel that was provided for the tones. If you think about it, in my understanding, [during] most of the accepted moments of creativity [or] improvisation – from this point of view in this western part of the world, where whence it comes – most of the tones are lowered. Most of the tones are lowered. Starting with the blues … a minor third added to the third, flat five added to the five, major seventh lowered, flat nine – everything is flatted.

DL: I never thought about that.

CM: Yeah, everything is lowered. It’s like dominoes – it’s going to the left. [laughs] And when they’re raised, you get … a quicker need to get to that bar line.

DL: Get out.

CM: [laughs] Get the hell out of there. But when you lower the notes, they’re so mellow and relaxed, you just want to get in there. And it’s like you really combine various essences of choices, and so forth, not only creativity but appreciation. So Trane provided all that for me. When I began to grow up, to understand these things, I just delved into whatever he was about. And I think improvisationally on my bass now. Maybe in about a hundred years I might be able to manage what he was doing. [laughs] But I’m thinking along those lines. Anyway, thank you for letting me speak a little bit. Thank you.

[audience applauds]

DL: Thank you. So, we’re going to show you this “Favorite Things” which comes from around, I believe it’s 1964. You’re going to be picking it up in the middle of McCoy’s solo, going through Elvin. [aside to the other musician panelists] We can gravitate to the back and get our stuff together. [speaking to the audience] Will you please thank these gentlemen: the great Billy Hart [audience applauds], Ravi Coltrane, Cecil McBee [applause continues]. We’ll see you a little bit later.

Patrick Dorian: And Dave Liebman [more applause]. We’d like to thank you for attending our lecture today. We’ll see you for the eight o’clock concert this evening. And maybe again on August 3rd, a Friday, for another lecture and then a performance of “Meditations Suite” as we continue the Coltrane legacy acknowledgement here. I’d also like to acknowledge, up in the corner there, Miss Davia Sacks, Broadway lyricist/composer. [applause] And she’s brought her husband, Phil Markowitz, who will be playing piano tonight. [applause] Thanks again, folks.