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Tag: John Coltrane

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.”

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John Coltrane Quartet – Live at the Half Note February 23, 1963 (Remastered) (1984/2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

John Coltrane Quartet – Live at the Half Note February 23, 1963 (Remastered) (1984/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:00:28 minutes | 2,21 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Audio Fidelity

John Coltrane’s “Live At The Half Note” on the Laserlight label is an excellent look at what is arguably jazz’s greatest quartet – the “Classic Quartet” of Trane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones – in an intimate club setting. It is during performances like these, where Coltrane had the ability to stretch out and play at length, improvising and creating on the spur of the moment, that he further developed his signature, searching style. According to the liner notes, these four tunes – “I Want To Talk About You,” “Brazilia,” “Song Of Praise” and “One Up, One Down” – were recorded in 1963 at the Half Note. However, someone is lying! The reason I say this is I also have a live Coltrane album called “Live At Birdland And The Half Note,” and three of these exact same recordings are featured on that disc (only “Brazilia” is not). This album on the Cool & Blue label credits “I Want To Talk About You” and “One Up, One Down” as being from a 2/23/63 date at Birdland, not the Half Note, while “Song Of Praise” was documented at the Half Note, but from 5/7/65, and not 1963 as the Laserlight disc claims. I tend to believe the information on the Cool & Blue disc is correct, not only because the liner notes are more detailed, but because “Song Of Praise” and “Brazilia” are better quality recordings, and clearly not from the same date as “I Want To Talk About You” and “One Up, One Down.” Potential historical inaccuracies aside, the Laserlight disc will be a welcome addition to any Coltrane collection. The sound is excellent and the performances are first rate.

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John Coltrane & Paul Quinichette – Cattin’ with Coltrane and Quinichette [Remastered] (1957/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

John Coltrane & Paul Quinichette – Cattin’ with Coltrane and Quinichette [Remastered] (1957/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 47:31 minutes | 854 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Concord Music Group, Inc.

Recorded in 1957 but not released for more than two years, this album showcases the dual tenor saxophones of John Coltrane and Paul Quinichette. The two sax men are backed by the rhythm section of double bassist Julian Euell, drummer Ed Thigpen and pianist Mal Waldron, who contributes three original songs. The rest of the set consists of standards, including the bonus track Tea For Two.

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John Coltrane – Blue Train (1957/2015) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: John Coltrane
Title: Blue Train
Genre: Jazz, Hard Bop, Saxophone Jazz
Label: © Blue Note Records/Universal Music Enterprises
Release Date: 1957 (BST 81577/BLP 1577)/2015
Recorded: September 15, 1957 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey.
Mastered by Alan Yashida, alternate takes Mastered by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Mastering.
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Length: 01:15:51
Size: 14 GB
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 950 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 / 192 kHz / 6838 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 / 192 kHz / 6332 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

John Coltrane only recorded one album as a leader for Blue Note, but it was the turning point of his career and one of his greatest hours. 31 at the time of 1957’s Blue Train, Coltrane had been largely unknown just two years earlier. In 1955 he began a very important two-year stint with Miles Davis that gave him visibility and found him growing rapidly as an improviser.

By 1957 when he left Davis and became a member of the Thelonious Monk Quartet for a few historic months, Coltrane had his own innovative voice. He was at the top of the field along with Sonny Rollins and was considered a young giant. Coltrane’s style, which often featured him, grouping together an explosive series of notes that were called sheets of sound, was unprecedented and years ahead of his contemporaries.

Blue Train stands as proof of both Trane’s originality and his dazzling style. Heading an all-star hard bop sextet that included the 19-year old Lee Morgan (the brightest new trumpeter in jazz) and trombonist Curtis Fuller, Coltrane took an astounding solo on “Blue Train” (one in which every note in his long improvisation fits perfectly) and introduced what was arguably his greatest composition, “Moment’s Notice.”

All five performances on Blue Train (including a definitive rendition of “I’m Old Fashioned”) are filled with memorable and classic moments. While Coltrane only worked for Alfred Lion on this one occasion, this very stirring set is full of timeless magic. After Blue Train was recorded, there was never again any doubt that John Coltrane was a giant!

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John Coltrane – Giant Steps (1960) [Japanese SHM-SACD ‘2011, WPGR-10006] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

John Coltrane – Giant Steps (1960) [Japanese SHM-SACD ‘2011] – MONO
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 37:34 minutes | Scans included | 1,56 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 705 MB

History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience. Although this was John Coltrane’s debut for Atlantic, he was concurrently performing and recording with Miles Davis. Within the space of less than three weeks, Coltrane would complete his work with Davis and company on another genre-defining disc, Kind of Blue, before commencing his efforts on this one. Coltrane (tenor sax) is flanked by essentially two different trios. Recording commenced in early May of 1959 with a pair of sessions that featured Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), as well as Paul Chambers — who was the only bandmember other than Coltrane to have performed on every date. When recording resumed in December of that year, Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) were instated — replicating the lineup featured on Kind of Blue, sans Miles Davis of course. At the heart of these recordings, however, is the laser-beam focus of Coltrane’s tenor solos. All seven pieces issued on the original Giant Steps are likewise Coltrane compositions. He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos — the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed “sheets of sound.” Coltrane’s polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre — turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc’s title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of “Countdown” does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers. Tellingly, the contrasting and ultimately pastoral “Naima” was the last tune to be recorded, and is the only track on the original long-player to feature the Kind of Blue quartet. What is lost in tempo is more than recouped in intrinsic melodic beauty.

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John Coltrane – Standard Coltrane (1962) [Analogue Productions 2019] SACD ISO + FLAC

John Coltrane – Standard Coltrane (1962) [APO Remaster 2019]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 34:53 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 1,4 GB
or FLAC Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 776 MB

Standard Coltrane consists of tracks recorded in 1958 but only released in 1962 to capitalize on Coltrane’s growing popularity throughout the 60s. The material on the album consists of well known music from Broadway or films, mostly ballads, recorded with the bulk of the Miles Davis band of the day: Wilbur Harden on trumpet and flugelhorn, Red Garland on piano, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb. This is a prime example of Coltrane in the middle of his signature “sheets of sound” period.

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John Coltrane – Blue World (Mono Remastered) (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

John Coltrane – Blue World (Mono Remastered) (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 36:33 minutes | 1,7 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover | © Impulse!

In 1964, the National Film Board of Canada asked John Coltrane to record the soundtrack for a French-language film titled ‘Le chat dans le sac” (“The Cat in the Bag”). Amazingly, no announcement was made that the iconic Coltrane was adding new performances to this film. In June of that year, Coltrane’s Classic Quartet entered Rudy Van Gelder’s studio and recorded five previously-recorded Coltrane originals. For many years, viewers of the film who recognized the music thought that they were listening to the original recordings, though in fact they were new and had never been heard. Now, with the release of Blue World , we can hear these newly-discovered recordings for the first time

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John Coltrane – Om (1967/2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

John Coltrane – Om (1967/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 28:55 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Verve Reissues

Condemned by many critics as John Coltrane’s worst album, Om suffers only in comparison to the great works that preceded it. Also issued in 1965, Ascension had stunned the jazz world with the blunt force of its innovation – a swirling maelstrom of noise, it was an answer to the challenge that had been posed by Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz several years earlier. For all the sonic assault that Pharoah Sanders and Coltrane mustered up on Ascension, however, it contained some surprisingly clear solos and had the feel of a well-thought-out interplay between all of the musicians on the date, including classic quartet members Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, and McCoy Tyner. Om, in contrast, seems more like a pure release of energy. Expressions of sanity and organization by the rhythm section seem detached from the wall of sound that Sanders and Coltrane have erected. The best moments come when Coltrane breaks away from Sanders for solos – echoes of Love Supreme can be heard in the repetitive, circular themes. Regardless of its seeming chaos, this is a deeply spiritual work, and can be seen as a darker, more unhinged version of the invocations heard on that album. Indeed, Om resonates with passion and yearning, but has a frantic edge that suggests that opening up to all of that powerful spiritual energy might have been a frightening experience. The music isn’t perfect, as the thematic flow sometimes seems a bit segmented, and talented members of the band are relegated a little too far to the background (like McCoy Tyner, who nevertheless has a beautiful short solo around 13:30). Regardless, Om doesn’t deserve the dismissal it has been given by critics. It is an important work in the history of free jazz that opens up considerably by the end of its 29 minutes, revealing the expansive contents of a jazz master’s mind. AllMusic Review by Stacia Proefrock

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John Coltrane – Coltrane (First Trane) (1957/2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

John Coltrane – Coltrane (First Trane) (1957/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 41:32 minutes | 246 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © RevOla

As a result of his exposure as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige Records owner and producer Bob Weinstock offered Coltrane a recording contract. Dated April 9, 1957, it stipulated three albums per year at $300 per album. Coltrane had previously recorded as a sideman, and had co-led a session with Paul Quinichette released in 1959 as Cattin’ with Coltrane and Quinichette, but never as sole bandleader.

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John Coltrane – Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings (2019) [Official Digital Download 24bit/192kHz]

John Coltrane – Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 05:37:46 minutes | 12 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Craft Recordings

Newly remastered by Paul Blakemore featuring 37 tracks: Coltrane’s breakout year, when his mature sound first grabbed ears and his own recordings began to sell consistently, was 1958. This release chronicles the exciting story session by session, featuring all 37 tracks Coltrane recorded as a leader or co-leader for the independent Prestige Records label in those twelve months. This collection captures him in creative high gear—developing the signature improvisational style that journalist Ira Gitler famously dubbed “sheets of sound.”

The timely release marks the 70th year since the founding of Prestige and comes just after the 60th anniversary of these recordings.

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