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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential and great value Prestige era Coltrane, 24 Mar 2011
This review is from: Slowtrane (Audio CD)
The following Prestige Label albums make up this more-than-excellent value 3cd set: 'Setting the Pace' (released 1961), 'Bahia' and 'The Last Trane' (both released in 1965). The recording sessions all took place in 1957/1958. This was such a productive period that Prestige released several other albums from these very same sessions (i.e. stardust/lush life/standard coltrane/black pearls/soultrane etc...) The material is standard mid to late 1950s Coltrane alternating between hard bop, blues and ballads.

Coltrane is supported brilliantly by Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Art Taylor (drums), Connie Kay (drums), Wilbur Harden (flugelhorn/trumpet), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), , Jimmy Cobb (drums), Donald Byrd (trumpet), Earl May (bass), Louis Hayes (drums) - for full details about who plays on what please refer to the cd sleeve info. A common criticism of Trane's late fifties work is that he is often let down by musicians not of his calibre....I would agree that most of the musicians were not up to his standard but I've yet to hear anything that indicates bad musicianship..

The style of the material on 'Slowtrane' renders it much more accessible than his later Atlantic/Impulse recordings - but there is still plenty to absorb and greatly enjoy here...this is not safe boring elevator jazz by any means..Coltrane's tone is perfect on these recordings and his exploratory and unchartered soloing is always breathtaking and exhilerating... two prime examples found in this collection are 'Goldsboro Express' from Bahia (intense alternating saxophone and drum soloing throughout) and 'Lover' from The Last Trane which has the fastest most fluid playing by Coltrane that I've ever heard - its incredible really. For years I've been a Giant Steps-and-beyond Coltrane follower, never taking too much notice of his work pre 1960. That's changed of late and I'm beginning to really appreciate the Prestige albums. For my money, there are greater examples of slow smouldering ballads and long inventive blues numbers on the Prestige albums, than the ones found on the later, more well-known 'Coltrane plays the Blues' (atlantic rec 1960) and 'Ballads' (Impulse rec 1962)...

I would certainly urge anyone who loves Coltrane's work but maybe has bypassed this early period in his development, to definitely reconsider and take some time to check it out...there is much to enjoy!!

Other Prestige albums I would recommend, that were recorded in 1957/58 are: Standard Coltrane, Coltrane (1st album), Lush Life..

This 3-cd set is presented in a stylish card/plastic fold out case with photos and liner notes but no original album sleeve photos or cd booklet. The cover photo is taken from the Blue Train sessions. The sound quality is incredible and far superior to many recordings that came out in the 60s and 70s. Although it doesn't specify I would assume that each album has been newly remastered by original engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Certainly if you purchase any of these albums individually then that is the case. Either way, 'Slowtrane' is fantastic value and essential to any jazz collection..
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 classic jazz albums, 2 Sep 2010
By 
C. FULLER (Brixham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Slowtrane (Audio CD)
This excellent 3 CD set comprises "Settin' the Pace"; "Bahia" & "The Last Trane" all recorded for the Prestige Records label between 1957 and 1958. The sound quality is excellent throughout and yet again these represent great value. Good liner notes and an attractive series design make this a collectors "must have". Look out for more new releases from this innovative independent label.

Original LP releases: "Settin' the Pace" 1958 (Prestige)tracks: I See Your Face Before Me (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) - 10:00/ If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) - 9:23/ Little Melonae (Jackie McLean) - 14:08/ Rise 'n' Shine (Buddy DeSylva, Vincent Youmans) - 7:15

"Bahia" released on the Prestige label as Prestige 7353 in 1964. Tracks: Bahia - 6:15/ Goldboro Express - 4:41/ My Ideal - 7:30/ I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All - 6:59/ Something I Dreamed Last Night - 10:48

"The Last Trane" Released on Prestige Records 1958 and recorded Aug 16, 1957 - Mar 26, 1958. Tracks: Lover (Hart, Rodgers) -- 7:58/ Slowtrane (Coltrane) -- 7:19/ By the Number (Coltrane) -- 12:01/ Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen, Mercer) -- 8:43
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle John, 18 Feb 2012
By 
Sentinel (Essex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Slowtrane (Audio CD)
Hard to imagine that you could use the word 'gentle' in conjunction with Coltrane's playing, given his reputation for some blistering displays of power, and note-bending. However, for those who enjoy a mellower approach to their jazz, this sumptuous trio of albums ticks the boxes. Recorded in 1957-8, and superbly remastered to give a wonderful warmth, depth and clarity of sound, these albums largely showcase a slow-burning Coltrane. None of his awesome horn tone is lost, but here it is largely restrained, and burnished to a singing voice of lustrous beauty, highlighted in the magnificently compelling 'Something I Dreamed Last Night', almost 11 minutes of mellow, moody jazz.

As there are only 13 tracks here, across the 3 albums, most are satisfyingly long, with 'I see your face before me' and 'By the numbers', and the golden-toned 'Bahai' some of the outstanding pieces. Nor are his more incisive numbers unrepresented, with the peppy 'Lover' or 'Rise & shine' giving full variety of approach. Overall though, there is a measured, burnished warmth to Coltrane's playing here, and the sensitive contributions of the ever-present Red Garland (piano) Paul Chambers (bass), Art Taylor (drums), and guest spots by Harden, Hubbard and Byrd, add to the overall quality level. For a mere £5 you'll acquire some 112 minutes of top-drawer, mainly mellow jazz, packed with exquisite ensemble and solo work. Don't hesitate.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good cd, very fast delivery, 15 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Slowtrane (Audio CD)
very good cd, very fast delivery. Very nice that such an relatively old album is available on cd. And the price is very modest.
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Slowtrane by John Coltrane (Audio CD - 2010)
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