A beautiful and bright Sunday morning. Silent here under the mountains except for the sound of oak and maple leaves changing colors.
I’m listening to disc 4 of “John Coltrane: Live in Japan,” recorded the year before Coltrane died. The 57:19-minute “My Favorite Things” begins quietly with a bass solo, Jimmy Garrison exploring his strings for long minutes. Compared to the sheets of sound that will come when Coltrane bursts into the comparative silence, Garrison’s sounds are muted, discrete, contemplative (Coltrane’s work will be contemplative as well, especially as they extend over dozens and dozens of minutes, but contemplative in a different register). My attention wanders and when it returns to the music Garrison is playing arco, his bow extending individual notes in time, and then
and then there is silence. The end of the tune? I wonder. Just as I wonder this I hear Garrison’s bass again, plucked now, and I realize what has just happened.
The silence has let me see him set down the bow and then reach his fingers back to the strings.