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The Very Best of John Coltrane

John Coltrane

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Album Review

This isn't the first CD that has had the title The Very Best of John Coltrane, and one can safely assume that it won't be the last. The focus of this 74-minute collection is Coltrane's Impulse output — specifically, modal post-bop that he recorded from 1961-1964. The disc doesn't get into the blistering atonal free jazz he embraced from 1965-1967, which is just as well because even though much of that material is brilliant, it isn't for everyone — at least not novices and casual listeners who are exploring the saxophonist's work for the first time. And for those who need a dose of introductory Coltrane, this release generally favors the more essential recordings that he provided for Impulse. That includes "Acknowledgement," "Bessie's Blues," and "Crescent," as well as legendary encounters with Duke Ellington ("In a Sentimental Mood") and singer Johnny Hartman ("Lush Life"). Because Impulse didn't have access to Coltrane's famous Atlantic recordings of "My Favorite Things" and "Naima," they chose live versions from various Impulse releases — both of which are excellent, but not essential. This CD would have been better off with "After the Rain," "Miles' Mode," or "India," none of which are included. Also questionable is Impulse's decision to include a previously unreleased 1962 studio performance of "Impressions," which should have been saved for a collection of rarities — this is supposed to be a best-of, after all. But all things considered, The Very Best of John Coltrane can serve as a rewarding introduction to the saxman's Impulse period. While this 2001 release is hardly the last word on Coltrane's legacy, it is one of the CDs to start out with for novices.

Customer Reviews

Coltrane 101

don't know where to start? buy this album and then buy "Love Supreme", John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman", "Ballads", "Crescent".....

Amazing!

This is one amazing jazz album. There is always something about jazz that really makes you just want to go relax. If you want a great album and some amazing music to listen to this is the one, you can never go wrong with this genre, there is so many talented artists in jazz and so many different styles, this is just one style, but one great example. Support the artists that deserve the money, help them to keep going, and keep coming out with new albums, and always support the greats.

READ THIS if you are new to Coltrane

Please visit www.traneumentary.blogspot.com. This will get you started on a very rewarding journey. Coltrane is a feeling, a mood, a mindset a...well, you get the idea. RIP Alice Coltrane - She tried to keep it going.

Biography

Born: September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, NC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

Despite a relatively brief career (he first came to notice as a sideman at age 29 in 1955, formally launched a solo career at 33 in 1960, and was dead at 40 in 1967), saxophonist John Coltrane was among the most important, and most controversial, figures in jazz. It seems amazing that his period of greatest activity was so short, not only because he recorded prolifically, but also because, taking advantage of his fame, the record companies that recorded him as a sideman in the 1950s frequently reissued...
Full Bio

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