9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Classic, early Coltrane,
This review is from: Giant Steps (Audio CD)
This is a justly famous CD by Coltrane and features some of his most reknown compositions such as the title track, "Mr. P.C", "Countdown" and the beautiful ballad "Niama". However, there are a few other lesser known items included on the disc that are worthy of mention. "Syeeda's song flute " illustrates the influence of Thelonious Monk and is, perhaps, the closest Coltrane came to recording a light-hearted composition. On the other hand, there is the sadly neglected number "Spiral" that never seemed to make the "jazz standard" reportoire even though I believe this to be one of his finest tunes from this era.
Whilst Coltrane had further to develop, this is a fascinating recording in the you can literally hear the confines of hard bop creaking as the saxophonist pushes at the boundaries of jazz. Pianist Tommy Flanagan, one of the very finest of his generation, can be envisaged literally hanging on as the music builds up momentum. My biggest criticism is that a very poor quality piano was used for the session and Flanagan's solos almost sound like they are being played on a marimba. Luckily, the saxophonist dominates proceedings and this is not too great an issue, even though a studio would not get away with letting a respected musician playing such a duff instrument today.
Although "Crescent" and the album with Ellington remain my favourite efforts by John Coltrane, this is an essential purchase. Needless to say, every record collection should not be without this disc.