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Coltrane's Sound

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John Coltrane (1926-67) was the most relentlessly exploratory musician in jazz history. He was always searching, seeking to take his music further in what he quite consciously viewed as a spiritual quest. In terms of public recognition, this quest began relatively late. The tenor saxophonist, a native of North Carolina who later moved to Philadelphia, was 28 when he joined the Miles Davis ... Read more in Amazon's John Coltrane Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00000HZEX
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 817,730 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adam V VINE VOICE on 6 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
John Coltrane produced so much music in the space of a decade that some of his best work was forgotten along the way. This album is a prime example; recorded in 1960 but not released until 1964, by which time he had moved on ...and on. Coltrane moved from Atlantic records to Impulse at the turn of the 60s, and by 1964 he had already built up a fair body of work on the new label and this album will have seemed like a footnote from the old.
It is, however a remarkably consistent and accesible album, especialy to those put off by Coltrane's more intense and avant garde music of later years. 'Giant steps' and 'My favourite Things' remain Coltrane's most famous records on the Atlantic label, (the former for its devastating virtuosity,and the latter for its extended modal improvisations) but this is arguably more enjoyable high quality jazz than either.
'The Night has a Thousand Eyes' a film theme, is a great dramatic opener, with Coltrane producing an exilarating solo without any of the turbulent mayhem he often fell into in his later records.
'Central Park West' is a great example of how, despite all his complex experimentation, few could do the simple things as beautifully as Coltrane. The simple melody of this tranquil ballad is not much elaborated on by Coltrane or McCoy Tyner, but its simplicity is its strength, as the two soloists create a spacious calm not unlike the later and more celebrated 'After the Rain.'
It is interesting to hear Coltrane tackle a tenor standard, 'Body and Soul' which he plays with consumate ease, in the middle of his own original themes. 'Liberia' and 'Equinox' are two excellent tracks, the first working up a fair head of steam and the second a relaxed, slightly dark and melancholy blues.
It is hard to pick any fault with this album, and while it doesn't cast the spell of a 'Love Supreme' or create the heated debate of an 'Ascension' it is one of Coltrane's finest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Hard bop on the threshold of a new jazz form 18 Feb. 2003
By T. Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a Rhino Records reissue of one great Coltrane album! This album is not only a great introduction to John Coltrane for the new listener, but in my opinion, it is Coltrane's finest. There is a tremendous amount of innovation here yet it is very accessible to the average ear.
Coltrane pushes bebop here as far as it can possibly go. He does so with dynamic style, dexterity, and a real clean sound. It took a very accomplished band behind him to give him the infrastructure to do this and they must be acknowledged for their great performances as well. McCoy Tyner plays piano, Steve Davis on the bass, and Elvin Jones on the drums.
I own a lot of Coltrane albums. Some of which are compilations and some which were originals but I have to say that "Coltrane's Sound" is one of those albums that belongs in every jazz collection. It's up there with Miles Davis'," Birth of Cool", Art Pepper's "Eleven", Sonny Rollins', "Colossus" etc. etc.
To add equity to the purchase Rhino includes both a nineteen-page booklet and two bonus tracks; one of which is alternate take of "Body and Soul". The second song is called "26-2" and it is quite good. The booklet can get a little pedantic or even pompous at times but it gives good info about each song, the people that made this album great, and a history of the album from many qualitative perspectives.
This album should be your first Coltrane album or your next.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The best of the Atlantics 31 Jan. 2004
By G B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Coltrane's Sound was recorded at the same October 1960 sessions as My Favorite Things. (Coltrane Plays the Blues also comes from these sessions.) Though it has never achieved the same popularity as MFT, in my opinion Coltrane's Sound is actually a better album! It comes from a period where Coltrane finally got a working band (McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis, Elvin Jones) together and was shifting direction away from the harmonic density of Giant Steps and "sheets of sound" toward modal improvisation and more open structures.
Coltrane was experimenting with a bunch of approaches around this time, making variety one of this album's strengths. He plays soprano saxophone on the beautiful ballad "Central Park West" (pretty rare for him -- he usually played ballads on the tenor). "Satellite" is a piano-less trio tune. "Night of a Thousand Eyes" and "Liberia" are explosive workouts which already showcase Coltrane's powerful tenor playing and his special relationship with Elvin Jones. "Equinox" has him digging deep, deep into the blues -- some of Coltrane's finest, most powerful blues playing this side of "Chasin' the Trane". Throughout this album, his playing is overflowing with ideas.
The Atlantic recordings contain some of John Coltrane's best, most accessible, and most focused music. If you've already heard Giant Steps and My Favorite Things (or if you haven't), don't hesitate to pick up Coltrane's Sound.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Maybe THE best Trane, and overlooked 27 Oct. 1999
By Bay-Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Coming at about the same time as Giant Steps and My Favorite Things, somehow Coltrane's Sound got overlooked. Too bad! Because the brilliance of Trane's playing was never more evident: the beauty of Body & Soul and his own ballad Central Park West being the best examples. The tune to Central Park West sounds like a slowed-down mellow version of Giant Steps; play the tune back to back.
This is a Coltrane classic that any lover of great jazz should treasure.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Coltrane's bop album 13 Jan. 2002
By N. Dorward - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is like many Coltrane albums palpably in transition between styles. It follows on from the experiments with dense, irregularly moving chord changes of _Giant Steps_, and also contains a couple reharmonized standards, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and "Body and Soul", which have areas of sustained modal exploration in the manner of "My Favourite Things". The band is the first edition of the "classic" Coltrane band, with Steve Davis on bass before Jimmy Garrison hopped on board.
What's most unusual about this album, perhaps, is that it's actually Coltrane's meditation on the bop heritage. Only one tune is completely original, the lovely ballad "Central Park West" (one of my favourite Coltrane tracks; he only states the melody, leaving the improvisation to Tyner, but it's so rounded a statement that like Monk's "Crepuscule with Nellie" it doesn't really need elaboration at all). The other tunes rework standard bop fare via the techniques of movement in thirds and pedal notes that obsessed Coltrane in this period. "Liberia" is a version of "A Night in Tunisia"; "Equinox" is a minor blues but borrows its intro from Parker's intro to "Star Eyes"; "Satellite" is a reworking of "How High the Moon"/"Ornithology"; "26-2" (a rather mysterious title) is a version of "Confirmation". The practice was of course already there on _Giant Steps_ ("Giant Steps" and "Countdown" are themselves based on standards like "Tune Up") but the concentration of such material, & the tenor sax shibboleth "Body and Soul", suggest a rather more self-conscious exploration of the tradition. (Note that Coltrane's albums otherwise rarely contain bop tunes, preferring to concentrate on pop standards when not playing originals.) The quartet's take on these tunes is dark, intense and brooding--this album is a long way from the sunny mood of _Giant Steps_ & _Coltrane Jazz_.
This disc is one of the most interesting of the Atlantics; don't be put off by the ghastly cover-art. This is music of a high order, a little less user-friendly than _My Favourite Things_ but no less important.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Coltrane's Most Underrated 23 Oct. 2003
By dhip - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is Coltrane's most underrated album and my personal favorite. Of course to say it is better then say A Love Supreme is not important. It's like saying is Beethoven's 9th better than his 3rd -- both are masterpieces and it is a matter of personal taste.
But where the comparison ends is that for some reason this album was never given that much recognition. Maybe it was overshadowed by Giant Steps, which might have been considered more innovative at the time.
To me, "Coltrane's Sound" has a simplicity with depth and subtly. For example Equinox. There is a deep elagance, (like Kind Of Blue). Listen to Trane's nuances on this one. (Have you ever heard someone cover Equinox? then you can appreciate how masterfull this performance is. To me, it is much harder to perform a simple minor blues and make it mean something, then than one with the more complex changes of say Giant Steps.)
Body and Soul rivals Lester Young's. Central Park West is one of the great ballads ever written. (Also check out After The Rain, not on this record --another classic ballad of Trane's.). All tracks are strong and the bonus tracks are excellent.
This one is a must.
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