From Coltrane to Arkestra, tis the season to play favorites, as Chairman Mao runs through the essential renditions of “My Favorite Things.”
One of the most celebrated compositions from the Great American Songbook, the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein-penned “My Favorite Things” has enjoyed fame alternately as a show tune and holiday season classic. But it’s the song’s life as a jazz standard – starting with John Coltrane’s legendary 1961 recording – for which it’s deservedly best known. Coltrane’s modal masterpiece however, is far from the only essential interpretation of this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. On the latest episode of Across 135th Street, host Chairman Jefferson Mao devotes an entire hour to the best reworks of “My Favorite Things,” ranging from the Sun Ra Arkestra’s raucous live treatment and Karin Krog’s bebop all-star roll call to Alfredo de la Fe’s Latinized-quasi-classical lost Loft classic and Alice Coltrane’s pre-ashram spiritual psychedelia.