this is from Travis A. Jackson’s book review of a new Coltrane appreciation by Ben Ratliff. the review is so well-written that i’m worried the book cannot possibly compare, but i can’t wait to find out i’m wrong. here’s a bit of discussion about the primary text:
Clearly, Ratliff is not afraid to call things as they are. And in a cranky but welcome gesture, he gives those neobohemians who willfully seem to misunderstand Coltrane’s music their comeuppance when he says parenthetically, “Believe this: there is a type of free-jazz record collectore – in fact, after punk, part of an increasingly flourising breed – who does not necessarily think of Africa when he hears a Coltrane album like Expression. Having come through punk, Japanese noise, and electro-acoustic improvisation, he may just like it because it sounds extreme and nonnegotiable.” Coltrane’s music deserve both a less hagiographic and a more reflective and nuanced treatment, and that’s what Ratliff offers.