Crescent is a 1964 studio album by jazz musician John Coltrane. It features his jazz quartet group of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones playing all original Coltrane compositions, with the leader playing tenor saxophone exclusively. It is commonly regarded as the saxophonist's darkest album. Only the brief, infectious medium-up "Bessie's Blues", and a samba-tinged groove in the midsection of the otherwise sedate "Wise One", break the sombre mood.

The music represents Coltrane's masterly return to meticulous form and structure, and post-bop modality, after several years of free-form experimentation alternating with traditional balladeering. The performances of these five compositions are considered some of the finest and most lyrical playing ever recorded by the Coltrane quartet. The album's closing track is an improvisational feature for Jones' drums (with spare melodic accompaniment from Coltrane's tenor sax and Garrison's bass at the song's beginning and end): Coltrane would continue to explore drum/saxophone conversations both in live performances with this group and on subsequent recordings such as the posthumously-released Interstellar Space (with Rashied Ali). It is interesting to note that Coltrane does not solo at all on Side 2 of the original LP; the wrenching ballad "Lonnie's Lament" instead features a long bass solo by Garrison.

The album's liner notes are written by Nat Hentoff and the original LP's inner gatefold profile photograph of Coltrane is the same one which would be featured on the cover of Coltrane's next Impulse! album release, A Love Supreme.

Two outtakes from the session, including an early run-through of "Dear Lord", are presumed lost. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.


Bessie's Blues
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