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Ballads [Original recording remastered]

Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, John Coltrane, Reggie Workman, McCoy TynerAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 1995 $8.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1995 --  
Vinyl, Original recording remastered, 1995 $15.99  
Audio Cassette, 1995 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Say It (Over And Over Again) (Album Version) 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. You Don't Know What Love Is (Album Version) 5:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Too Young To Go Steady (Album Version) 4:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. All Or Nothing At All (Album Version) 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I Wish I Knew (Album Version) 4:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. What's New (Album Version) 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. It's Easy To Remember (Album Version) 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Nancy (With The Laughing Face) (Album Version) 3:10$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Ballads + Kind of Blue (180g Vinyl) + A Love Supreme [Vinyl]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 27, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Impulse Records
  • ASIN: B000003N7I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison join Trane on one of his most intimate, introspective sessions. Includes their gorgeous interpretations of All or Nothing at All; What's New; I Wish I Knew , and the rest of this 1962 Impulse LP.

In 1962 John Coltrane was under assault from conservative critics who had labeled his tumultuous extended performances "anti-jazz." In response he entered the studios to create this classic collection of both well known and obscure ballads. Coltrane was one of jazz's greatest ballad players, a fact sometimes overlooked in the controversy that swirled about his work, and his lyrical gifts are in sharp relief here. They're transmitted through one of the most beautiful tones that jazz has ever produced, suggesting a rare metal that has just been discovered. The material brings out the best in pianist McCoy Tyner, who is prominently featured and whose harmonic subtlety and limpid grace shine throughout. --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS -- UNDIMMED AFTER 40 YEARS October 8, 2001
Format:Audio CD
A musician's viruosity on his/her instrument of choice may be measured in many ways -- chiefly, I suppose, in the ability to make that instrument pour forth the notes that are in the musician's mind, slow or fast, loudly or softly, as the music being performed requires. Many musicians have been blessed with the ability to take this up a notch -- they miraculously transmit what they are feeling in their soul as they perform into the notes and phrases that the audience hears. John Coltrane was nothing short of a genius by the time he recorded these pieces -- joined by some of the finest musicians who ever played with him. Coltrane had learned the artistry of silence and restraint, coupling it with his sheer instrumental ability, bringing his music to a level rarely equalled before or since. This recording was begun in December of 1961 and finished in November 0f 1962 -- 40 years have passed, and it is still one of the premier jazz recordings ever made.
The tunes on this recording are standards -- they were already classic examples of songwriting when Coltrane recorded them. His own compositions were without question groundbreaking, moving expressions of a man with deep feelings of spirituality and an unquenchable urge for exploration -- but when John Coltrane took these standards into his heart and played them out through his saxophone, they became his.
This grouping was to become known as his quintisential quartet: McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums) [Reggie Workman is heard on bass on track 7 only]. These four men had a playing empathy that most others only dream of. Every recording they made together shows stunning, unbelievable interplay -- and such respect for each other.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Back in 1962 the John Coltrane Quartet already a formidable group did something unheard of in the field of jazz at the time. They released and entire album of ballads. At the time many critics though that the group was crazy to release an entire album of ballads, the said it would never work. Well, here we are almost 40 years later and concept albums are now quite the norm. Countless of other all ballad albums have been released but this one to me remains one of the best. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this is the best album by the Coltrane Quartet. (a love supreme or johnny Harman and john coltrane) It's a quiet personal album. The kind that you just listen through not to any particular track but all of it at once. This album really is the type of album you can listen to to relax (and not fall asleep)after a long day at work. There are no jams on this one so there's no one song to center the disk around. But, how they play these ballads. it puts most other ballad albums to shame. listen to Coltrane on the first track Say it (over and over again). It's as if he's singing with the horn. Another stand out track is the quietly sedated all of nothing at all. I am personally in love with the sullen it's easy to remember. Overall this is an excellent album of ballads, quiet introspective and beautiful. I'm sure they'll be playing this one 40 years from now.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, gentle mood music August 22, 2001
By G B
Format:Audio CD
John Coltrane was one of the greatest ballad players in jazz so it's not surprising that he would do an album of all ballads. But oddly enough, I don't think I'd consider any of these songs to be among his classic ballad performances -- they aren't in the same class as Ogunde, After the Rain, I Want to Talk About You, Naima or Blue in Green. The Quartet approaches these eight standards very respectfully, with most taken at a slow tempo. Maybe the approach is too conservative, because the band sounds too restrained on some of the cuts and the short time span (most tunes are between 3 and 5 minutes) limits the scope of the improvisations. Trane really holds back, keeping the emotional range of the music a little too narrow for my liking. A plus is that Coltrane and Jones's relative restraint give more space to McCoy Tyner's piano. I don't know if I'd call this an ideal introduction to Coltrane's music; some people may love Ballads but hate his more exploratory albums post-1960, while others may like the more intense stuff and find this one too tame. (A good combination of mood and more intense playing is 1964's Crescent.) But in the end, you can't really argue with Coltrane's beautiful tone playing eight pretty melodies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quiet & introspective genius November 16, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Coltrane's "Ballads" is even more subtle and soothing than "Stardust" or "My Favorite Things." Even though every track clocks in at under 5 minutes, the 8 songs performed here are done with beauty, simplicity & perfection. Most notable is the mischevious, Brubeck-esque "All Or Nothing At All." For a ballad collection, the album actually moves by fast, but the playing on it is so focused and gentle all at once that you hardly notice. A must have for jazz / Coltrane fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW August 7, 2000
Format:Audio CD
You know that TV show "The List" on VH1? Well, this album should have made at least ten of the lists, including Album Everyone Should Own. I can't stress just how wonderful this piece is. The piano is right on, the drums are groovy, the bass is off the hook, and Coltrane is...well the best. John Coltrane completey blew me away with this record, the first that I have ever owned of his. Within days, I had gone to the store and bought several other 'Trane albums. I hope that people aren't going to just see this and dismiss it. Ballads is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art. This album is good for rainy nights, and those cold, cloudy lazy fall Saturday afternoons. In a word this ablum could be described as: INTOXICATING. Please, if you love jazz, you must hear this record. A definite must have for all jazz fans. If you haven't heard this, you should, and if you own a copy of it on CD or cassette, do yourself a favor, and get the real thing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by Cristian E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane's Gentle Side
Coltrane didn't do ballads much, but this collection puts the ones he did do on one disc and it is most heavenly. Mmm, Humm! It don't get much better than this.
Published 11 months ago by Bea Thayr
3.0 out of 5 stars Really nice album, but bad vinyl quality.
I returned the first album because it was warped. Now the second is noisy right out of the package. Thankfully this purchase came with the digital download. Great album.
Published 13 months ago by Marty L
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice CD.
I like it.Was just what I needed at the Time. There was nothing more to say about this nice CD.
Published 16 months ago by Christine Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitiely On My Top 10 All Time Best Jazz Album List
This is not new. If you are not familiar with Coltrane or - like me - don't have the head for his later more free-form stuff, this is the album for you. Sweeeeeeeet! Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by M. Anders
5.0 out of 5 stars Real good listenin' music
This is an excellent album by an excellent artist. Yes, I said artist, not just a musician. It is good listening at its best and deserves each of its five stars if not more.
Published on September 21, 2012 by Nanci F
4.0 out of 5 stars They are Ballads, right?
A few people out there are rather critical of this album by John Coltrane. I am a huge fan of "Trane", but since I also enjoy other types of music such as rock, blues, folk, and... Read more
Published on April 24, 2010 by Michael D. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawlessly played, but a minor disc for Coltrane
On this 1962 record, his second for Impulse, John Coltrane assembled a collection of ballads that might counter the stereotype that he was an "angry young tenor" capable only of... Read more
Published on January 30, 2010 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars Different from his other major works, and that's its beauty.
I reckon a lot of the lower-scored reviews have the wrong mindset with this album--and in process, missed the point of Ballads entirely. Read more
Published on October 9, 2009 by A. Sugawara
4.0 out of 5 stars MFSL Version
For the truly hard-core John Coltrane fans who are also hard-core audiophiles, this gold CD is going to be an automatic purchase. Read more
Published on July 6, 2009 by Karl W. Nehring
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