It opens with one of my favorite transitions in a Coltrane song, maybe just one of my favorites in any song. All through his Impulse period Coltrane had a penchant for bookending songs with "pretty" rubato sections, usually with Elvin on cymbals only, doing something appropriately "pretty"-sounding. Sometimes the transitions from these sections feel a little jumpy to me, as if rather than the sections being related, they really are just there, separately, existing as a "pretty" section and the section where the interesting parts kick in. Only sometimes, though, and less and less the more I listen to Coltrane - he did profess to struggle with composition, so maybe I can safely attribute some rough edges to him, but my guess is that what I'm hearing is due more to me.

So, anyway. Favorite transition. Why? Because it's made the most smoothly of any of his. This may be due in part to the tempo and rhythm of the central segment to the song, which is a sort of calypso thing (which means that Elvin's afro-cuban drumming somehow feels more at home with what the rest of the band is playing, as opposed to some things like A Love Supreme, where perhaps part of the brilliance of playing like he does is that it sounds so different). That means that it's more relaxed than a lot of his other music. In fact, it's on one of those "wussed-out Coltrane" compliations that collects his "softer" music (as much of this album, Crescent, could be). Also, the tempo is enough slower than other songs that the jump from the tempo in the rubato sections to that of the central section is smaller.

In the main section, Coltrane's solo feels more economical and more tied to the initial theme than usual, which may also be a factor in the song's inclusion on wussed-out compilations. For most of his solo, his hallmark worrying away at 4 or 5 note phrases is almost absent, which could lull one into thinking this wasn't a Coltrane record, if not for the scores of other positive signs (most importantly: his distinctive tone, his lyricism, McCoy Tyner's style, Jimmy Garrison's unobtrusive alternation between walking, ostinatos, and something in between, and of course Elvin bashing away - but even he's restrained here!).