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The Definitive John Coltrane On Prestige and Riverside

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Album Review

The Definitive John Coltrane on Prestige and Riverside compiles studio tracks recorded between 1955 and 1958 with the tenor saxophonist as sideman and leader. The 21 tracks follow Coltrane's artistic development from his first record with Miles Davis, The New Miles Davis Quintet, to his last sessions as a leader for Prestige, Bahia, in December 1958. Aimed at the casual listener, the majority of these tracks, taken from 18 different albums, are a nice balance of standards including "Come Rain or Come Shine," "I Want to Talk About You" and "Time After Time," with such modern jazz classics as "Oleo," "Round Midnight," and "Lush Life." Coltrane appears with an extraordinary roster of musicians on these dates: Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones, and Art Taylor. This is an excellent sampler spotlighting Coltrane's development from hard bop master prior to his innovative "sheets of sound" style for Atlantic records and his most challenging Impulse dates of the mid 60s.


Born: 23 September 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...
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