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  • The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane
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The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 15, 1995
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$73.96
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Frequently Bought Together

The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane + The Complete Columbia Recordings: Miles Davis & John Coltrane + The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
Price for all three: $195.54

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

7 CDs that chronicle the "Giant Steps" that John Coltrane took as a saxophonist and an artist during his hallowed 1959-61 stint with Atlantic. Here is every note he recorded for the label in chronological order, all documented inside a 72-page hardcover book. Landmark jazz!

Amazon.com

John Coltrane not only made his reputation once and for all during his brief 1959-61 stay at Atlantic Records; he cut enough material to allow the label to continue releasing "new" albums (the Don Cherry collaboration The Avant-Garde) until a year before his 1967 death. The Heavyweight Champion collects those masters plus revealing alternate takes and false starts in a typical handsome Rhino box that is also packed with informative notes and great Lee Friedlander photos. While the sheer volume of music and emotion Coltrane and cohorts throw at the listener might make purchases of individual discs like My Favorite Things, Giant Steps, and Coltrane's Sound a wise choice, those committed enough to jump right in won't regret adding these seven CDs to their collections. Coltrane had kicked his multilayered sonic and spiritual quest into fifth gear by the time of his Atlantic debut, and to say he scorched plenty of earth while under the care of staff producer Nesuhi Ertegun is only the beginning of an ample description of his achievements at the label. Though he was to go even further at Impulse!, where he ended his career, Champion's tracks rate in the very small beyond-five-stars category. --Rickey Wright

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 15, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: August 15, 1995
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0000033K2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,292 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Ravi Desai on January 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a great box set. 7Cds comprising all of Coltranes work on the Atlantic label. This includes all the material on 10 albums: 1.Giant Steps, 2.Coltrane Jazz, 3.Bags and Trane, 4. My favorite things, 5. ole coltrane, 6. coltrane plays the blues, 7. coltranes sound, 8. the avant garde, 9. the coltrane legacy, 10. coltrane-alternate takes. These albums are all contained on the first 6 discs in the set. the track order has been modified so that tracks are presented in the original chronological order. The seventh disc consists of several alternate takes(which are only available in this box set). This is great material and is should be in every serious jazz collection. it is worth noting that most of this is available as individual discs and many collectors may want to accumulate this one CD at a time. The accompanying book and overall packagingare excellent My only complaint is that this is a very expensive set. there are also a lot of alternate takes (but serious listeners will enjoy these). buyers should note that this is not a complete collection of Coltrane's work. A lot of coltranes best work(Alove supreme)was done on Impulse records and is therefore not in this set. Overall this is a wonderful collection, if it were only more affordable
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Scott McFarland on October 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have the other 2 box sets of Coltrane's recorded works - the 16-CD Prestige set and the 8-CD Impulse set. This is by far the most impressive, definitive, and even of the sets.
John finds himself on here - he cuts his seminal "Giant Steps" material on Discs 1 and 2, then moves on to form his original quartet (with Elvin, McCoy, and Steve Davis) and cut a wealth of blues-inspired material while the band was fresh. He discovers the soprano sax and plays some startling figures on it (the best-known being "My Favorite Things"). The compositions on here are perfect and the playing pretty great. John never sounded better, and I can't imagine anyone with an interest in jazz not enjoying the heck out of this set.
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66 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Ian K. Hughes on March 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As many jazz fans reading this review already know, there are eight albums John Coltrane recorded for Atlantic, 1959-1961:

BAGS AND TRANE ( w/ Milt Jackson )
GIANT STEPS
COLTRANE JAZZ
THE AVANT-GARDE ( w/ Don Cherry )
MY FAVORITE THINGS
COLTRANE PLAYS THE BLUES
COLTRANE'S SOUND
OLE

Given the sheer excellence of these recordings ( "Giant Steps" and "My Favorite Things" are landmarks ), this reviewer is more than a little sheepish at having to slap a 3 star rating on the "Heavyweight Champion" box set. Why? Well, it's certainly not due to the music, for I haven't any doubt whatsoever as to either its inherent quality or artistic significance. And obviously, the low rating can't be chalked up to packaging details, which are uniformly tasteful: the hard-cover booklet, more a "mini-book", is exemplary and there is a truly spectacular "extra" ( ingeniously encased in a replica of a reel-to-reel tape box ) in the form of a disc devoted to virtually *all* of the takes ( partial & complete ) of Trane's groundbreaking tune, "Giant Steps".

No, the crux of my complaint resides in what I strongly feel is an aesthetic violation: the fact that this box set, like so many others, arranges all of the music ( including alternate takes ) in strict chronological order. While this approach certainly has merits for extended live recordings or certain unique studio projects ( eg, Art Tatum's mammoth sessions for Norman Granz ), I find it has little *artistic* ( as opposed to musicological ) justification when applied to a body of work that stands so close to perfection through the arrangement its creator fashioned.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Memphis E. on December 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is WONDERFUL. If you're like me and you think John Coltrane was the most perfect realization of God's purpose when God invented music x thousand years ago, you will love this set. (If you don't already have it.) But even if you don't think that, you will probably like it an awful lot. It is simply jazz saxophone at its finest. And the high quality of the recording captures the music perfectly.
Even though it is seven discs, I've listened to it probably 40 times. Several entire albums are included here. Yes it's expensive, but if you buy one of the albums separately, you will want another, and another, and then you'll eventually buy this anyway. That's what happened to me.
Like liner notes? There is plenty to read in the generous booklet. Curious what songs were originally on what albums in what order? All that information is included here, along with original album artwork, complete session information, musician credits, etc. I am very picky about the way albums sound and the way they are packaged and I found no problems with this set. That is rare for me, people!
Usually when a record label says, "The Complete..." I think, "sure..." and then another album comes out with something they just "discovered". But I think they did it right with this one and actually gave us everything! If you are at all into jazz, you will never regret buying this whole set.
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The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane
This item: The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings of John Coltrane
Price: $73.96
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