This was the first album I heard back in the 1960s by the classic quartet of John Coltrane(tenor, soprano sax), McCoy Tyner(piano), Jimmy Garrison(bass) & Elvin Jones(drums). Only the first three tracks were recorded live at Birdland on October 8, 1963, the remaining being studio recordings from the same year. Mongo Santamaria's 'Afro Blue' is a stirring soprano outing for Coltrane who returns to tenor on the beautiful ballad 'I Want To Talk About You' which has a stunning unaccompanied coda. Of the studio tracks the highlight is the sombre and moving 'Alabama' inspired by a bomb outrage at a church in Birmingham. 'Your Lady' is dedicated to Coltrane's wife-to-be Alice McLeod.
'Live at Birdland' still bowls me over almost 50 years later and is an ideal introduction to Trane's wonderful music.