Indeed, most of Live Trane's 36 tracks (19 of which were previously unreleased, making this collection a major issue) are played with the conviction that a major breakthrough will be achieved at the end of the piece. Hence, LeRoi Jones dubbed Trane "the hired assassin of bebop." Coltrane was probing for new possibilities, through chords, modes, and just plain sound. Dolphy proves a righteous foil, and his individual imprint (angular alto, lyrical flute) can be heard in Coltrane. The physicality of Coltrane's playing here is gargantuan, and the band plays against him as much as it does with him. When the equally physical Jones duets with Coltrane, the rhythmic results are wildly exhilarating. Tyner gets a "good soldier" award for his endless vamps on "Favorite Things," but elsewhere displays his singularly original conception. Seldom has a band worked at such a consistently transcendent level.
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