What I know about Jazz you can fit on the back of a postage stamp. But I know this. John Coltrane’s riff on Blue Train is one of the most recognisable refrains in the world.
Dah Doh Dah Dah Dahhhhh! Dah Dah! Dah Doh Dah Dahhhh!
Yeah? Say it out loud. That one. The rest of the track is captivating. It’s like a guitar solo… On a saxophone. That may be the most Beavis and Butthead thing I’ve ever said but there you go.
Coltrane and his band take the thing for a long winding walk, they go uptown, they go downtown, they stop off in a few choice places and they cross the street a fair few times. This is percussion, piano, bass and saxophone working like a swarm of ants on building something huge from tiny little rocks.
I can totally see how all forms of Rock and Roll came from Jazz when I listen to John Coltrane do it. I can see parallels between the noises made here and those wonderful moments on Live After Death when Adrian Smith and Dave Murray swap leads on Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.
I know you don’t read Steve For The Deaf for this sort of selling out. Jazz bores claiming everything that is Rock and or Roll for their own is the height of ‘wankyness’. I will say, in my defence I’m not a Jazz bore. I’m an Iron Maiden bore listening to some really lively, really dexterous, really fun and impressive music that fascinates me and I’m saying… Those Jazz guys, they may have a point.
After almost ten minutes of this stuff they go right back to that riff we all know. And they wind it all up then and there like it ain’t no thing. John Coltrane’s Blue Train is just so ‘Metal’