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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2013
Reattributing recording sessions - when a sideman becomes more famous than the leaders under which he previously recorded, sometimes the latters' sessions are re-issued under the former's name - is rather common in jazz, but John Coltrane seems to be the musician to which this happens the most, largely because he A) has become so famous and B) recorded a lot in 1957-58.

All the recordings on this set date from this period, and although Coltrane plays throughout half of them aren't Coltrane albums; on many of them he was just a sideman or at best co-leader: the proper leaders for half the albums here being Kenny Burrell (...& John Coltrane), Johhny Griffin (A Blownin' Session), Red Garland (All Mornin' Long) and Elmo Hope (Informal Jazz). This doesn't make the music bad by any means (with the possible exception of Hope, these are all well-known and well-thought of jazz musicians), and some of these albums might actually be unavailable outside this set - but it's a real stretch to call these Coltrane Albums, and rather unfair and insulting to the musicians whose brainchild these sessions really were to attribute them to Coltrane for marketing purposes (for better or worse, the Coltrane name sells better than Red Garland!).

The other half of the albums here are Coltrane-led, but, with the exception of Traneing In, consist of miscellaneous sessions collected and released by Prestige after Coltrane left (in 1958) and released without his input or approval. "The Last Trane" is a particularly egrerious example of this, being a compilation of three unrelated recording sessions. Traneing In is the only "proper" Coltrane album here, the only one which Coltrane himself designed and approved.

Of course, neither this nor the fact that Coltrane wasn't even leader on half these sessions doesn't invalidate the music on these sessions. It's just that this are not important sessions in the Coltrane story, like Giant Steps, Africa/Brass, A Love Supreme etc... There's lots of good stuff here, but this set can hardly be considered an "essential" Coltrane collection: what it actually is is a collection of early and formative sideman work, fascinating and useful in its way, but of more interest to completists than to casual listeners or those approaching Coltrane for the first time. Perfectly good on its own terms, but there are higher-priority purchases. The Vol. 2 set from the same people contains far more of Coltrane's own, significant releases.
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on 19 November 2012
At this price how can anyone give this less than 5 stars!

However, before I go on I should stress that this is a review of Volume 1 of the Coltrane set because, for some reason, Amazon have posted my review on both the vol 1 and vol. 2 pages. Volume 2 contains a mixed bag of later (and also great) albums from a number of labels.

What's on offer here is a collection of 8 of Coltrane's Prestige albums, made between 1956 and 58. The last album 'Black Pearls' dates from May 23rd 1958, just a year or so before 'Giant Steps' and 'Kind of Blue', the start in many people's minds of his most influential period. Nevertheless the music on these records is never less than first rate and he is already pushing at the envelope. However, even if you ignore the fact that this is some of the most influential music made by one of the greatest (if not the greatest) tenor players who ever lived it is still a tremendously enjoyable and listenable set. Containing a mixture of own compositions and standards it is some of the finest music recorded in its era and stands comparison with the series of albums recorded during the same period with Miles Davis on CBS and Prestige. There are also substantial contributions from a number of stellar sidemen, too numerous to list fully here, but including, amongst other, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, Art Taylor, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan and Donald Byrd.

Not long ago a full box set of Coltrane Prestige recordings (this contains around half), would have set you back around a hundred pounds, so this is also terrific value. The sleeve notes are basic (tracks and session dates only), but will be enough for most people, and the remastering sounds fine to my ears.

For the sake of clarity I have liated the complete Prestige albums contained in Volume 1:

The Last Trane (1958)
Informal Jazz (with Elmo Hope) (1956)
A Blowin' Session (with Johnny Griffin) (1957)
Black Pearls (1958)
Settin' the Pace (1958)
Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane (1958)
Traneing In (1957)
All Mornin' Long (1957)
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Rather than give a review of this excellent collection I will leave that to other reviewers like the excellent one by Mois Bennarroch but a listing of what's on the CDs, the track listing could be useful so here it is.
This 4 CD offering from Real Gone Jazz contains eight albums from John Coltrane, all are from the period 1956-58.
NOTE DUE TO A 'GLICH' on Amazon this review has attached itself to Volume 1 of this series

The revised eight albums are as follows:
Sorry for my mistakes in listing the CDs of 1 with the track listings of 2!
Simon Cade drew my attention to this.
I hope this is correct now Simon?

On CD 1
1. The Cats [with Tommy Flanagan & Kenny Burrell] (1959):

2. Africa / Brass (1961):
On CD 2
1. Bags & Trane [with Milt Jackson] (1961):
2. Giants Steps (1960):

On CD 3
1 Coltrane Jazz (1961):
2. My Favorite Things (1961):

and finally On CD 4
1. Mating Call [with Tadd Dameron] (1957):
2 Cattin' with Coltrane and Quinichette (1959):

The all important track listing are:-

CD 1:
The Cats [with Tommy Flanagan & Kenny Burrell] (1959):
1 Minor Mishap
2 How Long Has This Been GoingOn
3 Eclypso
4 Solacium
5 Tommy's Time
Africa / Brass (1961):
6 Africa
7 Greensleeves
8 Blues Minor
CD 2:
Bags & Trane [with Milt Jackson] (1961):
1 Bags & Trane
2 Three Little Words
3 The Night We Called It a Day
4 Be-Bop
5 The Late Late Blues
Giants Steps (1960):
6 Giant Steps
7 Cousin Mary
8 Countdown
9 Spiral
10 Syeeda's Song Flute
11 Naima
12 Mr. P.C.
CD 3:
Coltrane Jazz (1961):
1 Little Old Lady
2 Village Blues
3 My Shining Hour
4 Fifth House
5 Harmonique
6 Like Sonny
7 I'll Wait and Pray
8 Some Other Blues
My Favorite Things (1961):
9 My Favorite Things
10 Everytime We Say Goodbye
11 Summertime
12 But Not For Me
CD 4:
Mating Call [with Tadd Dameron] (1957):
1 Mating Call
2 Gnid
3 Soultrane
4 On a Misty Night
5 Romas
6 Super Jet
Cattin' with Coltrane and Quinichette (1959):
7 Cattin'
8 Sunday
9 Exactly Like You
10 Anatomy
11 Vodka
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I plan to buy all the sets in this jazz series by real gone jazz, you get great music from the 50's, greatly remastered by the best exponent of genre.
This one is great, as is the set by Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins

The problems are technical, I don't expect extensive liner notes and it is fine that the label just gives us the name of all the players (which is not always the case) , but the problems are the following

1) the jewel cases are very unfriendly, they arrive mostly broken and the cd's fall. It is very hard to pull out the cd's from the inner part of the case and they fall on the outside part of the case (this is a one dbl case that holds 4 cd's)

2) The name of the 2 LP's on each cd should be written on the cd.

3) the slim booklet includes the musicians, but the insert on the back cover lists the name of the LP's without the musicians, it would make more sense to have all this info together in the back cover. And it would even be cheaper.

All this said I have all these releases on my wish list, I have already bought 5 sets and ordered 3 more. Each cd includes 2 ORIGINAL LP's without bonus tracks mostly it's 70-80 minutes per cd.

So, dont hesitate, at the price just buy it, you wont regret it even if this is the first jazz cd you hear
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This 4-disk offering from Real Gone Jazz contains eight albums from Trane. This review is of volume two; there's also another volume of eight earlier albums from RGJ.

The eight albums are as follows:

Disk 1
1. The Cats - with Tommy Flanagan & Kenny Burrell (1959)
2. Africa / Brass (1961)

Disk 2
1. Bags & Trane, with Milt Jackson (1961)
2. Giants Steps (1960)

Disk 3
1 Coltrane Jazz (1961)
2. My Favorite Things (1961)

Disk 4
1. Mating Call (Trane with Tadd Dameron) (1957)
2 Cattin' with Coltrane & Quinichette (1959)

So, a lot of work from the middle years including the seminal `Giant Steps' and `My Favorite Things' when Trane was getting into his stride as a band leader and gaining a reputation as a major style innovator.

Few artists have left such a legacy, and this collection allows you to acquire some back catalogue Trane at a knockdown price. The sound is OK, though some will question whether RGJ's claim that the material is `digitally remastered and enhanced for superior quality' was really worth the effort; to me, the claim seems like a marketing ploy.

You have to give this package 4 stars just for value-for-money, if nothing else.
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on 9 October 2015
Sadly I can not praise this issue as I wished. The music is masterful and breathtaking of course, but something west wrong with Traneing In. It sounds awful, muddy and distant. I don't know what happened but my seventies vinyl reissue has a totally different sound, open and clear.
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on 6 March 2014
If you have this and volume 2 you will have most of John Coltrane's game-changing and exiting output for your Jazz collection.
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on 30 July 2014
More memories of my youth brought back, which is what getting older is all about!
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on 30 July 2014
Classic CD, really good and very pleased, delivery was timely.
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on 28 December 2015
Everything allright. Music from another world!!
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