This unintentionally racist/hilarious review was originally posted to Pitchfork in the late 1990s by site founder Ryan Schreiber, but was conveniently erased during a recent site revamp (was it coincidence that the deletion came shortly after the review had attracted a significant amount of criticism on Internet forums?).
Regardless of the reason for its removal, whether automatic or deliberate (the latter of which may be indicated by its deletion from both Google’s cache and Internet Archive), here it is, in all its original, unedited glory:
John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard
Review by Ryan Schreiber
The Village Vanguard. New York City. 1961.
We was sittin’ there watchin’ the stage. Waitin’ for the man they called Coltrane to come out and do his thing. It was me and my four droogs. Them bein’ Peter, Georgio and Dim; Dim being really Dim.
‘Round an hour’d passed and the place was packed straight through to the back. I’d just dropped some dollars for ‘Trane’s Giant Steps six months back. Now was the time, this was the place. The Village Vanguard. New York City. 1961.
I was only there for the first night, see, but them cats at Impulse! just made my life complete. They put out four CDs of all that sound ‘Trane put out those nights. But you know my type, man. Can’t afford to eat, let alone spend some heavy cash on music. So I only got the essential. Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes is one disc, makin’ it one-fourth the cost of the box set. And you only get the best stuff.
Man, the opening beauty of “Spiritual…” It’s like a dream I had: I floated on the River Nile, smokin’ some fresh weed, relaxin’. But I ain’t ever gonna see the Nile anyhow. This track’s as close as I come, and it’s close enough. Best of the best, though, has gotta be “India.” It’s only when you listen to a perfect old jazz tune like this that you realize how much drum-n-bass is derived from this music. ‘Trane takes it to heaven and back with some style, man. Some richness, daddy. It’s a sad thing his life was cut short by them jaws o’ death.
Shit, cat. It don’t make a difference. The man produced enough good music to last me a lifetime. This Village Vanguard thing’s just another example of the genius of Coltrane.
– Ryan Schreiber
A few notes:
– Has Ryan Schreiber even actually talked to a black person before?
– He mentions himself and his “four droogs,” then proceeds to name three people. This man could not have possibly graduated high school.
– “Shit, cat” might be the best thing I’ve ever read.
– Just what the fuck is “you know my type” supposed to mean? I feel a Robert Downey Jr./Kirk Lazarus moment coming on…
– “It’s like a dream I had: I floated on the River Nile, smokin’ some fresh weed, relaxin’. But I ain’t ever gonna see the Nile anyhow.” This distinctly sounds like a really bad Morgan Freeman movie narration.