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John Coltrane – Giant Steps (60th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

John Coltrane – Giant Steps (60th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 02:06:32 minutes | 3,92 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rhino Atlantic

John Coltrane’s Giant Steps is one of the most important albums in American music history. The 1960 release marked the first time Coltrane ever released an album entirely of his own compositions; the title track is considered an essential part of the jazz canon. To celebrate the album’s 60th anniversary, two new reissues have been announced: a deluxe edition (featuring remastered audio and eight alternate takes) and a super deluxe edition (featuring 20 additional outtakes).

The 60th anniversary editions of Giant Steps arrive digitally, as well as on vinyl and CD, on September 18 (via Rhino). Below, watch a trailer for the reissue and hear a remastered version of “Naima.”

Multiple tracks from Giant Steps are considered jazz standards. “People like to talk about Giant Steps as a test for young horn players and how he’s breaking new ground with some of the pieces,” John Coltrane’s son Ravi Coltrane said in a press release. “But it’s the accessibility that stands out for me. The accessibility, despite how challenging some of the material is. It’s still all very listenable and very joyful. John’s music is a joy to study and to play. It’s a joy to listen to.”

In the 60 years since John Coltrane’s Giant Steps was released, the album has (justifiably) taken its place in the pantheon of classic albums. However, upon its release in early 1960, it was just the Atlantic Records debut of a hotshot saxophonist who had made a name for himself with Miles and Monk and recorded a few albums as a leader (and countless albums as a sideman) on Prestige. He was widely recognized as a technical talent, capable of dazzling and dizzying solos, but his compositional skills had only been showcased properly on one album: the (less justifiably) classic Blue Train, which was released in 1958 and was more clearly related to the hard bop of the day. Now, with a multi-year contract with Atlantic in hand, Coltrane was able to focus his label debut on his own material, positioning himself as a mature, confident, and singular artist, rather than as a gunslinger-for-hire. Everything on Giant Steps is a Coltrane composition, with a deep focus on harmony, phrasing, and melody. The album is intensely inventive from a structural standpoint—it’s here that the “Giant Steps” chord progression (a.k.a. “the Coltrane Changes”) makes its debut, as does the soon-to-be Coltrane standard “Naima,” the themes of which would make their way into some of his most experimental and free-flowing future concerts. There’s also plenty of blues (“Cousin Mary”), bouncing blasts of joyful lightness (“Syeeda’s Song Flute”), and improvisational pyrotechnics (“Mr. P.C.”), and the album swings so hard and is so emotionally evocative, it’s easy for a listener to overlook just how epochal it was. This is the album that—along with Kind of Blue a year earlier—effectively closed the door on bebop. Coltrane’s compositional approach here opened the door to his probing, analytical take on spiritual improvisation over the next few years. Of course, thanks to the luxury of having two days in the studio—far longer than a typical blowing session—he was able to get it right, resulting in a perfect album … as well as several reels of outtakes. A raft of those appear on this 60th anniversary “Super Deluxe” edition—eight alternate takes and 20 additional outtakes (many of which are previously unreleased) flesh out this collection. Few of them provide much insight or improvement on the album versions and the inclusion of an alternate take of the Coltrane Jazz track “Like Sonny” (recorded contemporaneously with “Naima” on a different date than the rest of Giant Steps) is a bit of a stretch. This latest remastering, while spacious and alive, doesn’t improve substantially upon Bill Inglot’s 1998 remaster; in fact, one could argue that the 2014 mono remaster is an even more rewarding listening experience. But having a few “definitive” versions of a classic album—one that has been continuously in print and remastered/reissued/updated several times since its original release—is not a bad problem to have. – Jason Ferguson

Tracklist

1. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (2020 Remaster)
2. John Coltrane – Cousin Mary (2020 Remaster)
3. John Coltrane – Countdown (2020 Remaster)
4. John Coltrane – Spiral (2020 Remaster)
5. John Coltrane – Syeeda’s Song Flute (2020 Remaster)
6. John Coltrane – Naima (2020 Remaster)
7. John Coltrane – Mr. P.C. (2020 Remaster)
8. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 1, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
9. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 2, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
10. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 3, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
11. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 4, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
12. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 5) (2020 Remaster)
13. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 6, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
14. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 7, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
15. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Alternate, Take 8) (2020 Remaster)
16. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 1, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
17. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 2, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
18. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 3) (2020 Remaster)
19. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 4, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
20. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 5) (2020 Remaster)
21. John Coltrane – Naima (Alternate, Take 6) (2020 Remaster)
22. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Rehearsal 1, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
23. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Rehearsal 2, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
24. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 1, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
25. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 2, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
26. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 3, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
27. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 4, False Start) (2020 Remaster)
28. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 5) (2020 Remaster)
29. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 6, Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
30. John Coltrane – Like Sonny (Alternate, Take 7) (2020 Remaster)
31. John Coltrane – Countdown (Alternate Take) (2020 Remaster)
32. John Coltrane – Syeeda’s Song Flute (Alternate Take) (2020 Remaster)
33. John Coltrane – Cousin Mary (Alternate Take) (2020 Remaster)
34. John Coltrane – Giant Steps, Take 3 (Incomplete) (2020 Remaster)
35. John Coltrane – Giant Steps (Take 6, Alternate) (2020 Remaster)

24-192

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24-96

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