Naima is a ballad that's so slow and reverential that it seems to stand still, suspended in mid air. Written as a love letter to his first wife, Naima, the song was Coltrane's favorite composition. "The tune is built on suspended chords over an E-flat pedal tone on the outside," Coltrane told Nat Hentoff for the album's original liner notes. "On the inside—the channel—the chords are suspended over a B-flat pedal tone."
Hentoff continues in the notes:
"There is a 'cry'—not at all necessarily a despairing one—in the work of the best of the jazz players. It represents a man's being in thorough contact with his feelings, and being able to let them out, and that 'cry' Coltrane certainly has."
Coltrane met Naima Grubb in 1953...
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N ew day
A n old tune