The Last Blues

John Coltrane’s birthday. A few years ago Billy Hart hipped me to a track that is not so well-known, although it is fearsomely great: “The Last Blues” is Trane’s final work in the blues form, with a complex gospel shout as a cappella head. Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones are at their peak. The session date is a few weeks before Ascension, and first came out on the posthumous LP Living Space.

In more banal matters, today marks my 6th anniversary of being sober: I was inspired by Trane’s example to make his birthday my starting point. The first 6 months were a drag, but after that, it became simply good routine. If anyone was considering such a move: jump in, the water’s fine.