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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better way to hear early 'Trane
All diehard fans of John Coltrane, who can afford it, need to pick up this boxed set. This set of 16 cds offers one the opprotunity to hear 'Trane during his "early period" and well into his "sheets of sound" period. One marvels at hearing the material on this collection. It is hard to believe this is the same man playing on later recordings on the...
Published on November 21, 1999 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD 15 cracked and split when I tried to remove it from the box set. Be careful!
CD 15 cracked and split when I tried to remove it from the box. Be careful - the left hand sides have the CDs jammed in tightly and they seem unusually brittle. Unfortunately I have been in hospital and the return period expired last week. good luck. The CDs that played were of course wonderful.
Published 20 months ago by disgruntled


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No better way to hear early 'Trane, November 21, 1999
By 
Amazon Customer "jazzfanmn" (St Cloud, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
All diehard fans of John Coltrane, who can afford it, need to pick up this boxed set. This set of 16 cds offers one the opprotunity to hear 'Trane during his "early period" and well into his "sheets of sound" period. One marvels at hearing the material on this collection. It is hard to believe this is the same man playing on later recordings on the Impulse! lable. All of his appearances on the Prestige lable, save the historic recordings with Miles Davis, are here. Artists appearing on this collection like: Sonny Rollins, Tad Dameron, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, Zoot Sims, Gene Ammons, and Freddie Hubbard make this collection just that much more vital. If you want to hear historic music from the early period of John Coltrane's development, or just great jazz, pick up this essential if expensive set.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set for collectors and completests, May 7, 2006
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This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
This is a very good set. I have long had great respect for the Prestige label for bringing us such marvelous jazz. I also love that van Gelder sound on the Prestige, Blue Note, and Savoy recordings.

There are some incredible moments on this set like the duets with Sonny Rollins, but there are some moments that are sort of routine performances by some of the world's greatest musicians--better than what many other musicians are capable of, but not the best for these musicians. Almost routine for musicians of such high calibre.

Coltrane fans that are not flush with cash need to perhaps get 3 or 4 discs of Coltrane from this period and then go to his Atlantic and Impuse years. Coltrane has a lot of growth in a relatively short period.

If money is not a challenge and you have lots of time, then this set will have lots of very pleasant moments.

Post script: While the Complete Prestige Recordings (16 disc big box) is only available used either by Amazon Marketplace or Ebay, there is also another (Japanese issued) Complete Prestige Recordings (18 disc box) that is available used on Amazon Marketplace and Ebay. The sound is good on the Japanese set, but it does not come with the excellent booklet in the American set. The Japanese reissue is something of a budget set, but also contains the Prestige recordings of Coltrane with Miles Davis which the American set does not contain. Lastly, Concord Music Group has issued a 6 disc set entitled "Fearless Leader" which features Coltrane led sessions. They have also issued a set entitled "Interplay" which is 5 discs and features sessions where Coltrane is a sideman. Concord is scheduled to issue another set in September of 2009 which features Coltrane in Presige label "blowing sessions." So even though the Complete Prestige set is out of print, another remastered collection of sets with signficant liner material. Hopefully the set will come out despite the distressed economic times.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Jazz...Pure Coltrane !, April 3, 2003
By 
R. A. Meyer (Carmel, In United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
OK..is this set worth the money? Just listen to Tenor Madness and John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins dueling saxes and that should answer your question! This is a chance to hear John produce some of the sweetest sounds he has ever produced. These recordings, early in his career, are some of his best work. They are all recorded by Rudy Van Gelder and the sound is excellent. I have all of Coltranes recodings now and I think that on any given day these are the best with the Atlantic box set coming in a real close second. There is no "free form" jazz here only good blues, ballads and jazz standards. I never had the chance to see Mr Coltrane but with this set his music lives and a lot of us will be asking why he had to leave us so early in life....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must find the dough for this!, June 13, 2006
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
$233 sounds like a lot of cash, but this is one of those instances where you get what you pay for. And how much SHOULD they be charging for around 18 hours of music? Coltrane is heard here as not just a leader, co-leader, but a a sideman as well. So there is a broad range of the man from '56 to '58. And such phenemonal growth in those two years!

This might be Prestige's best effort. You can index tunes alphabetically, chronologically, there's an index of sidemen, notes of each session, plus a discography. They fill up 32 pages, which isn't easy to do when it's LP size. My only complaint with the packaging is the bulk. But it's 16 discs!

The music itself is indescribable! Starting with "Tenor Madness", to the lesser known "Tenor Conclave", "Dakar" with 2 bari's, I could just go on and on! Little known fact: this box contains the '58 session Gene Ammons session where Coltrane plays alto. Truth is, since Coltrane wasn't a leader on all of these tracks, his involvement wavers from track to track. And the critics are right that the music isn't always his best, but if it's not his best it's certainly adequate for the rest of us.

So you still need the Miles box to hear him with Miles, and in a few weeks you can buy the 2 disc set to hear Coltrane and Monk (instead of the Monk box), so it's not "complete". But for $233, I think it's enough. It's an expensive place to start, but this is Coltrane at his most digestible - before he got too far out for most of us.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EVEN MORE "COMPLETE PRESTIGE YEARS " SET EXISTS, October 26, 2010
By 
BOB (LOS ANGELES, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
A Japanese version of this U.S. set was released, and differs as follows:

1.) It has 18 discs to the U.S.'s 16, because all of the JC - Miles Davis Prestige collaborations are included, which the U.S. set lacks

2.) It has K2 remastering (also 20-bit).

3.) It has two booklets, one in English, the other Japanese, but it does not have the large format, lavish booklet of the U.S. set

4.) It comes in a cube-shaped box/slipcover (in multiple 4CD jewel cases, not mini-sleeves), rather than the LP-sized U.S. box

I mention all this only as both sets are OOP, so availability and prices for either, new or used, will vary at any particular point in time. I would have loved to have had the U.S. booklet, but the additional material and Japan K2 mastering swayed me.

From a mastering standpoint, while I don't have the U.S. Complete set to compare it to, I did recently pick up the "Interplay" and "Fearless Leader" releases and compare them to the Japan box. I found the the mastering on the Japan set has the horns much more upfront. Some people may prefer this, and some may not.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Coltrane!, May 18, 2005
By 
Brian J. Gedeon MD (Roscommon, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
This is by far the best box set of Coltrane on the market! I have almost everything he has recorded, and this is a fantasic set of straight-ahead small combo jazz recordings. There is not a single CD or even song on any of the 16 discs that I didn't absolutely love. This is perhaps the BEST box set of jazz I own. This set is a great addition for any jazz lover whether you're beginning a collection or already have a substantial one.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coltrane Lives, April 1, 2003
By 
R. A. Meyer (Carmel, In United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
When I first started getting into jazz about 20 years ago, I was introduced to John Coltranes "My Favorite THings". I have since collected all of his recordings but find that a lot of his later records were too free form for me. When you listen to these Prestige recordings you will here an artist progression and learnings. The melodies are enchanting and musically Coltrane, in my opinion, never sounded better. Rudy Van Gelder was the engineer on some of the recordings and it's amazing to here how good some of these takes are even thought they are 40+ yearls old. I would invest in this set first then move to the complete Atlantic recordings box set. Listen to the impulse recordings first before you purchase them as they can sometimes be really out there. As long as there is music like this Coltrane shall always live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CD 15 cracked and split when I tried to remove it from the box set. Be careful!, November 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
CD 15 cracked and split when I tried to remove it from the box. Be careful - the left hand sides have the CDs jammed in tightly and they seem unusually brittle. Unfortunately I have been in hospital and the return period expired last week. good luck. The CDs that played were of course wonderful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great But Unnecessary Now, May 27, 2009
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
This boxed set has been superceded by the "Fearless Leader" and "Interplay" sets. Just so you know
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Great Stuff, Some Not, October 25, 2000
By 
Scott McFarland (Manassas, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Prestige Recordings (Audio CD)
Obviously there's a wealth of material on here - too much to categorize in the space of a singular review.
If you have the money to spend on this, or can borrow a copy - there's some wonderful stuff on it. The parts that have jumped out at me - The Elmo Hope session on Disc 1. The 17-minute version of Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes" with one-of-a-kind late night atmosphere. Some of the other Waldron sessions with their sense of space and vibe. Some of the slick playing with Red Garland, Paul Chambers and other musicians on the later discs.
If you don't have that much money - you might want to hold off. I mean, lots of this music is far from indispensible. I believe John developed into something more special than what he is on these recordings, subsequently, and I would recommend those subsequent recordings first.
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The Prestige Recordings
The Prestige Recordings by John Coltrane (Audio CD - 1991)
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