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Stellar Regions

by: John Coltrane

Album Artwork

(Impulse!)

The compositions on Stellar Regions were recorded five months before John Coltrane's death in 1967 at the age of 40. However, Stellar Regions was not released until 1995. Coltrane's wife, Alice, discovered this lost session in 1994. Only one song from these original compositions ("Offering") were ever heard before this album was released.

Alice Coltrane was responsible for the song titles on Stellar Regions. The band on this session included Coltrane (tenor & alto saxophone), Alice Coltrane (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and Rashied Ali (drums). Coltrane's health was failing during the time of these sessions, but it's hard to tell from how exuberant he sounds. His avant-garde explorations are captured on these 8 tracks. Three alternate takes are also included on this disc.

"Seraphic Light" opens the album with a calm that evokes a rising sun. "Sun Star" traverses a galaxy of sound where only Coltrane's inimitable tone overtakes the soul.  "Iris" emits a golden loom that only Coltrane could create. "Offering" epitomizes Coltrane's command over his instrument.

The band explores unchartered musical territories in a frenetic fever of "Configuration". "Jimmy's Mode" offers a laid back musical landscape best heard when the sun begins to set. "Tranesonic" counts as the final track on Stellar Regions, and finds Coltrane traveling on trails of cosmic dust. Stellar Regions ranks as a vital recording in Coltrane's prestigious discography.

James Calemine

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