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Giant Steps [CASSETTE]

John Coltrane Audio Cassette
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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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 Cassette (1 Jan 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wea/Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002I4T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,398,589 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Giant Steps
2. Cousin Mary
3. Countdown
4. Spiral
5. Syeeda's Song Flute
6. Naima
7. Mr. P.C.
8. Giant Steps [Alternate Take]
9. Naima [Alternate Take]
10. Cousin Mary [Alternate Take]
11. Countdown [Alternate Take]
12. Syeeda's Song Flute [Alternate Take]

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane�s first solo masterpiece 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Giant Steps was possibly the most consistently outstanding tenor solo statement since Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus. Of course, Coltrane's own performance on Kind of Blue, just a month or two before, is now legendary, but he had shared the glory with soloists of a similar calibre, and furthermore the present recording contained nothing but his own compositions. Here his phenomenal vision and technique shone with spellbinding power, framed exquisitely by the sheer authority of a superb rhythm section.
The title tune features a huge, assured performance from Coltrane, with Art Taylor providing densely argued rhythmic support. Only Tommy Flanagan appears to struggle with this intensity, but treats it with both affection and mastery 23 years later with the superlative tribute Giant Steps: In Memory of John Coltrane (Enja, 1982). On "Cousin Mary" Paul Chambers is on tremendous form, playing generous, confident bass behind Coltrane's swelling tenor. Less well-known, bordering on the unreal, is "Countdown", now more frequently recognised as a singular item in the jazz canon. It's blistering, exhausting and exhaustive, a swirling madness of harmonic and tonal exploration. Flanagan, more assured now, comps solidly behind Trane, helping him to build up to a final climax, in which contrary to convention, Trane states the theme. Rounding off the sound and accelerating the tempo almost imperceptibly, Paul Chambers enters seemingly without effort, helping to create an exhilarating tapestry reminiscent of Miles Davis' "Tune Up" on Cookin'. The rarely revisited "Spiral" has a wonderful, swinging pulse, and deserves to be better represented in subsequent musicians' tributes. "Syeeda's Song Flute" is a simple theme, tersely set up, demanding release.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking 25 Nov 2004
By R Jess
Format:Audio CD
'Giant Steps' overturned many of the stereotypes I had about post-war (more specifically 1950's) jazz. From most of the movies I've seen from that era, jazz was wallpaper music, bland background to the cliches on the screen. Imagine how I felt when I first put on 'Giant Steps'. This is definitely not "easy-listening".
The energized melody of the title track bursts from the record in a relentless attack. The imagination of Coltrane's playing can best be heard on 'Cousin Mary' where he begins with swing before taking the melody on a world tour from the blues to the Far East. 'Countdown' sounds initially like uncomprimising free-jazz but there is a strong rhythm behind it that you can even snap your fingers to and there isn't a more delightful moment on the album than it's whistful ending. Coltrane's playing on the second version included here is even more astounding.
Coltrane takes us on another journey back and forth between jazz's past and future with 'Spiral', swaying between a swinging tempo and a halting, Eastern-thinged descent. It's emotional intensity is a staple of this remarkable album. On 'Syeeda's Song Flute' the master gives the other players a chance to shine with Tommy Flanagan's playing unthinkably cool and unrelenting at the same time. The track segues ponderously into 'Naima' where Flanagan again comes to the fore with some of his most personal playing, while the saxophone smoulders.
'Mr. PC' combines all the best of John Coltrane and the backing trio on this album. His heady mixture of old-time jazz, swing and his own intense improvisations conspire to deliver a hothouse performance with the other players driving hard behind him.
'Giant Steps' is an album that any serious music lover should have in their collection, artistic, cerebral and emotional all at the same time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Frantic 5 May 2001
Format:Audio CD
This is another excellent outing for John Coltrane, and although it was his first effort to consist entirely of his own compositions, it is far from a radical departure.
The band provide superb backup, especially Paul Chambers on bass, who lends his initials to one of the best tracks, "Mr PC". My favourite, however, is "Syeeda's Song Flute" purely for the relaxed sync-ops riff Coltrane uses at the beginning of the track. Those who prefer Coltane's frantic soloing will not be disappointed - "Countdown" is outrageously fast.
Overall, a solid album, which is great fun to listen to. A good intro to John Coltrane.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome - a jazz classic 2 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the record that put Coltrane up onto the pedestal from which he cast a shadow over every tenor player of his generation.
It bursts with power and energy, combining Coltrane's frightening technique and the searing, crying intensity of his tenor sound, propelled forwards by a driving rythmn section featuring excellent work from pianist Tommy Flanagan.
It's not all full-speed ahead, though, as "Naima" is a delicate, gentle masterpiece.
For those coming to this record from a more bluesy/soul-jazz angle, you might try "Blue Train" first. Alternatively, if you want to hear that beatiful saxophone sound in all its tender glory, try the "Ballads" album. Coltrane, of course, also appeared on the legendary Miles Davis album "Kind of Blue", which is a must for every jazz record collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A. Zona
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This review is about the 2002 Atlantic Masters version with 8 bonus tracks of Giant Steps by John Coltrane, album originally released in January 1960. The bonus tracks are 4 alternate takes (alternative recordings of the pieces included in the original album and performed by the same lineup) and 4 alternate versions (alternative recordings of the pieces included in the original album but performed by a different lineup). Here are more details:

Recordings March 26, 1959
John Coltrane (tenor sax), Cedar Walton (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Lex Humphries (drums)
Giant Steps (alternate version 1)
Naima (alternate version 1)
Giant Steps (alternate version 2)
Naima (alternate version 2)

Recordings May 4 and 5, 1959
John Coltrane (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Art Taylor (drums)
Giant Steps (original album)
Cousin Mary (original album)
Countdown (original album)
Spiral (original album)
Syeeda's Song Flute (original album)
Mr. P.C. (original album)
Cousin Mary (alternate take)
Countdown (alternate take)
Syeeda's Song Flute (alternate take)
Giant Steps (alternate take)

Recordings December 2, 1959
John Coltrane (tenor sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
Naima (original album)

Observe that the March sessions were not used in the album, Giant Steps and the other compositions (except Naima) were re-recorded in May changing pianist and drummer. Nearly seven months later Naima was re-recorded for the third time with the rhythm section from Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Kelly, Chambers, Cobb).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bopping good
one of my Favourite Jazz albums I just love the Saxophone and bass playing on it and I just HAD to buy it on Record So I did it sounds great on record too
Published 9 days ago by Cubby Kovu
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, must-have Jazz album.
If you like jazz that swings, rushes, leaps, swoops and is generally all round as cool and hot as a er.... weird refrigerator, then this is for you. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amanda McCartin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album from a master muscician
Great album from a master muscician, if you like Jazz, you should lsten to this album, a landmark on Jazz history.
Published 4 months ago by JOAO RICARDO MOREIRA
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting into Coltrane- very good.
The music on this album is very warm and a great display of talent- however, I am not the best expert on jazz. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast , Powerful , Fearsome!!
Fast & powerful stuff from Mr C. Giant Steps is a massive landmark in jazz. Many people may shoot me for this but it just doesn't hit the same spot with me as "Blue Train" & "A... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars great Jazz
These CD's made up from bits of live concerts are rarely completely satisfactory, but there are some great tracks. Its a nice addition to a jazz CD library.
Published 18 months ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane's 'Straight-ahead' Masterpiece
Now, before I attract the ire of jazz aficionados who really understand the true definition (if indeed there is one) of 'straight-ahead' jazz, I am using the term in my own very... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Keith M
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing out of place, but it takes you there
I listened to this album in an old terraced garden in France. The village beyond the wall was still, the dog lay contemplating men at my feet, and autumn was touching up the trees... Read more
Published 21 months ago by sin sin minkin
2.0 out of 5 stars not such a bargain..
Stone classic album, hadn't heard it for a while and seemed too good to miss at less than 2 quid for a download. Read more
Published on 21 July 2012 by fibre
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant sound
Most Coltrane fans eulogise about 'A Love Supreme' or 'Blue Train' and rightly so, as they are superb. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2010 by Angus P. Walker
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