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Giant Steps Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, October 25, 1990
Audio, Cassette, May 13, 1987
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely brilliant from start to finish. This record is essential to any record collection and has some of the most beautifully composed songs Coltrane ever recorded. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jonathan
Another 1959 creation. What was in the water? Challenge and Beauty walk hand in hand along the beach into the sunset and beyond the stars, into the unknown.Published 4 months ago by guitarmutt