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Giant Steps [Original recording remastered]

John ColtraneAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)

Price: $9.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2008 $7.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 1990 $9.78  
Vinyl, 2003 $18.14  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002I4S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Giant Steps
2. Cousin Mary
3. Countdown
4. Spiral
5. Syeeda's Song Flute
6. Naima
7. Mr. P.C.
8. Giant Steps
9. Naima
10. Cousin Mary
11. Countdown
12. Syeeda's Song Flute

Editorial Reviews

Trane's adventurous 1960 release, the first to feature solely his own compositions. Remastered from the original tapes, this landmark of modern jazz is further enhanced with 4 alternate takes. Includes the title track; Cousin Mary; Countdown; Spiral; Syeeda's Flute Song; Naima , and Mr. P.C .

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane's most important album. May 7, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It's understandable that many listeners may prefer to "Giant Steps" the more accessible earlier or later Trane. The former offers up his explorations within more familiar song forms; the latter makes the song secondary to the soloist's quest for a rapture beyond musical form altogether. "Giant Steps," on the other hand, is a musican's album. It set a new standard not only for saxophonists but all musicians, requiring a combination of harmonic knowledge and technical facility that sent numerous musicians back to the woodshed for countless hours of practice. Without this album, and especially the title song and "The Countdown," Coltrane's early work would have seemed short of realizing its potential, and his later work would have been open to increasing suspicion about his actual credentials. Like Armstrong's cadenza on "West End Blues" and Bird's break on "Night in Tunisia," "Giant Steps" turned heads and gave a generation of musicians a whole new understanding of what jazz improvisation was capable of producing.
For the more technically minded, Trane's revision of dominant-tonic harmony is more impressive than his later embracing of modes as the sole platform for his scales and upper register probings. Suggested by the challenging bridge of Rodgers and Hart's "Have You Met Miss Jones," the sequence moves through a cycle of descending major thirds which, in the hands of most musicians, feels awkward and unnatural. Coltrane not only mastered the sequence but learned how to use it as a substitution in conventional harmonic settings. More impressively, he learned to execute it with an agility and naturalness that makes it possible for the listener to ignore the harmonic underpinning entirely and be swept up by the wave of emotion and melodic inventiveness.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My purpose here is not to simply add more superlatives to this legendary album's justly proud reputation -- it's everything and more that has been written about it of a praiseworthy nature; and you'll find plenty of praise here in these reviews (see especially the insightful words from Samuel Chell). But there remains one rather 'technical', and curiously long-lived misconception about GIANT STEPS which, as a serious student of jazz and avid music collector, myself (I have virtually all of Coltrane's impressive recorded output), I have wanted to correct
for years -- a misunderstanding which, I hasten to add, in NO way diminishes the brilliance and stature of this pivotal milestone in Coltrane's prolific career.

The problem is this: over the years, repeated references (and you'll find some of them in these reviews) to this classic album's being the ultimate representation of Coltrane's famous
'sheets of sound' phase, or technique, are simply mistaken. The so-called 'sheets of sound' effect that so startled early Coltrane audiences, in fact, emerged in his late '50s albums for Prestige -- not yet fully developed in the '56-'57 sides with the early Miles Davis Quintet (not even on that groundbreaking group's final recording, Miles' first for Columbia, 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT), but very well documented, even dominating, in Coltrane's prolific late '57-'58 period on Prestige, where the best examples of his 'sheets of sound' are to be found.

Technically, 'Trane's much-touted 'sheets of sound' amounted to his simply (!) shifting into a 'higher gear', at slow-to-medium-fast tempos -- essentially, playing more 16th notes (i.e., 4 notes to every beat), instead of relying on the more typical
8th-note orientation (i.e.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top essential jazz albums May 6, 2012
Format:MP3 Music
This album marks a first for many reasons: first Coltrane recorded for Atlantic, first where all of the tracks are his compositions, and the first where his "sheets of sound" phrasing was prominent (it was not new, but came to the forefront with this album.) In a way, Coltrane is finally 'discovered' on this album because he is neither in the shadows of Miles, nor is he displaying his abilities on standards and compositions of others.

Everyone - every jazz aficionado and all musicians regardless of genre - should own this album. It broke new ground when it was released in January of 1960, and continues to this day to exert a major influence on musicians as well as listeners.

I could blather on about changes and progressions, but that does not describe the music to the non-musician listener who has every right to enjoy this album on its own merits without some snob implying that its too sophisticated. The samples on this page give a hint, but that should be all you need to make a purchase decision. For musicians I highly recommend augmenting with album with Giant Steps: A Player's Guide To Coltrane's Harmony for ALL Instrumentalists. For Everyone else, I recommend purchasing it without further thought.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a superb Jazz masterpiece from 1959 January 26, 2001
Format:Audio CD
For too long I had listened to Miles & sort of avoided Coltrane's work, partly out of fear of overbearingly religious tones. I should have been slapped around, but eventually I knew I must get some of it, within the same week I bought The Avant-Garde [w/ Don Cherry] & Giant Steps. This is such a phenomenally brilliant & beautiful album & I am content to play it everyday, & the alternate of 5 of the 7 tunes don't sound like repetition. Someone said about the breakthru of the opening title track & then said it was unemotional, whilst I'm unfamilar w/ his earlier work, I do not belive Giant Steps to be a cold piece for intellectuals & musicians only, it breathes freely & soulfully & the band plays very smoothly, Paul Chambers on bass, Tommy Flanagan on piano [Cedar Walton & Wynton Kelly feature on some other tunes instead] & Art Taylor on drums [replaced by Jimmy Cobb & Lex Humphries on others]. Many of the songs here are named for his friends, Naima for his 1st wife [pre-Alice], the central ballad of the album & 1 of the main tunes throughout his career, Syeeda' Song Flute for his daughter, a sort of funny & childlike tune that of course gets more mature as it goes along, Cosuin Mary [sel-explanatory], & Mr P.C., a showcase for Paul Chambers. The shortest song & 1 that's I'm particularly fons of is Countdown features a big drum solo intro & then otherwordly loud-but-not-noisy tenor sax action galore, @ the right vloume it can really get you moving, the following Spiral is similarly great. My edition features a foldout 10" reproduction of the original back cover which is better than the 1 page 5" facsimiles so common in these reissues w/ everything retyped & doubled-up. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars coltrane top ten
If you are a fan or just someone who like good jazz this is for you. This too while let you here why coltrane is one of the supermen of the jazz of the late fifties
Published 18 days ago by john kohorst
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Excellent CD
Published 2 months ago by Linda Schauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying
This is a must if you like jazz. The solos are mind blowing and entertaining. I am very impressed by this album.
Published 2 months ago by Pattie1
5.0 out of 5 stars Great releasec
Excellent record. The best pressing of any vinyl that i have bought. I wish all new releases were of this quality. Superb!
Published 2 months ago by Daniel Carlsson
5.0 out of 5 stars The proof of the pudding is in the listening
Today, in 2014, 55 years after these tracks were laid down, they still sound revolutionary. Still sound beautiful. Coltrane is Coltrane, and then there is everyone else.
Published 3 months ago by John Spritz
4.0 out of 5 stars CD
Every time you see an article rating the quintessential jazz artists & albums, this always appears.
I was not disappointed - get it.
Published 3 months ago by Gary A. Glisch
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest jazz albums ever
Coltrane's work on this album revolutionized jazz music and it sounds amazing too!!! If you are serious about jazz you absolutely must own this album. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bill P
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, but not the Deluxe edition?
I received my copy a couple days ago, opened it expecting there to be a copy with the extra tracks, only to find out I somehow got a copy with only the original album. Read more
Published 5 months ago by E. Malone
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is a wonderful CD and a nice gift for anyone interested in exploring John Coltrane's music or jazz in general.
Published 6 months ago by avid_reader
5.0 out of 5 stars John Contrane...a legend!!!
Talk about the great John Contrane really is daunting task trying to be one of the most important jazz saxophonists that have existed. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Manuel Carranza C
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