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5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B000000Z1X
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,704 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Format: Audio CD
Like it's label-mates, Stardust, Bahia, Lush Life and The Last Trane, this album is typical of Prestige Records disinterest in discographical tidiness and in its original vinyl incarnation tied together two tracks from Coltrane's January 10th 1958 session with a single ballad from his last recording date for the company on Boxing Day of the same year. (Two further tracks from tuba player Ray Draper's New Jazz album featuring Trane have been added to the CD issue to bulk out an outrageously brief original playing time).

The music is marvellous, especially so as it centres upon two early compositions by McCoy Tyner and Cal Massey, the former a future member of Coltrane's legendary 1960s quartet and the latter a collaborator on Trane's 1961 LP Africa Brass. Both themes are worthy of reinvestigation: Tyner's "The Believer" a skipping fast waltz and Massey's "Nakatini Serenade" (later recorded by Lee Morgan) a dark, exotic-tinged slice of classic late 1950s New York jazz.

Trane and the sometimes perfunctory sounding Donald Byrd are in fine form, as is young Freddie Hubbard on "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful". However, Coltrane steals the show in one of his finest ballad solos of the era, yet one which is scarcely ever mentioned, even by ardent Trane scholars.

It's easy in hindsight to understand why this album didn't cause ripples at the time of its issue. Not released until 1964, several years into Coltrane's contemporary contract with Impulse, at a time when volcanic sets such as "Live At Birdland" and "Live At The Village Vanguard" were causing a storm of controversy, this seemingly simple "blowing session" might well have seemed old hat. Its ambitions may well be modest but Coltrane touches everything with the sincerest emotion, whether it be gripping the modal baton on the title track, or lovingly caressing the ballad.

An overlooked gem, and one which Trane fans will find fascinating.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic From The Jazz Giant Coltrane 29 Sept. 2001
By Timothy J. Young - Published on
Format: Audio CD
On this outing compiled from sessions in 1957 and 1958, one of the many stellar releases for the Prestige Label, John Coltrane is fine form. Backed by a bigger cast of players this time, which created a somewhat different sound, Coltrane showed off his still blossoming mastery of his art. Jazz greats like Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Freddie Hubbard play along side Coltrane on this set. This album also offers a unique tuba/tenor sax interplay on two cuts, that showed how Coltrane loved to experiment with different sounds and styles. The Beleiver offers two bonus tracks as well. An excellent album and a truly overlooked Coltrane classic. A must have for all Coltrane fans.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Recommend You Save Up Until You Can Buy Fearless Leader, Here's why... 5 Feb. 2008
By Mark - Published on
Format: Audio CD
All of Coltrane's Prestige catalog, while not so much influenced by the Eastern sounds that would later envelop his music, is wonderful. You get to hear Trane in a more traditional setting somewhere between his work with Miles (in fact he was still with Miles when this stuff was recorded) and his first steps (ha pun not intended) away from more traditional tunes on the Atlantic label. Now, there are 11 CDs that make up this catalog (Trane as a leader on Prestige). You do the math. If you buy 'em separately you are going to pay around $125.00. You can get the Fearless Leader box set right here on Amazon for half that price PLUS you get a great guide to all the music Trane recorded as a leader for Prestige, a complete "session-ography", nice picks of all the CD covers including some of those that went through some changes over the year, 45 rpm single covers and so on. It's a very nice package. Buy this if you must but I recommend you save your pennies for a few weeks until you can afford to buy Fearless Leader.Fearless Leader
5.0 out of 5 stars Be a Believer 16 Mar. 2016
By Dr. Petray - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some stars burn too bright. We can only listen, be amazed, and then miss him.
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