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Very Best of John Coltrane Import

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Audio CD, Import, February 15, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

With his inexhaustible technique, trademark sound, and limitless imagination, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane was one of jazz's most dominant musicians. This collection covers his important Atlantic Records sessions recorded from 1959 to 1960 (chronicled in their entirety on Heavyweight Champion). The tunes signal an important transitional phase from Trane's stints with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to his emergence as a leader in his own right. "Giant Steps" "Naima," and "Cousin Mary"--featuring pianist Tommy Flanagan and drummer Art Taylor--crystallized Trane's supersonic "sheets of sound" style. "Like Sonny," an Afro-Latin dedication to his friend and contemporary Sonny Rollins with Wynton Kelly on piano, reveals Trane's stylistic debts to Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins. His historic renditions of "My Shining Hour," "Body and Soul," "Summertime," and "My Favorite Things" highlight Coltrane's ability to remake a song into his own image, as well as introduce his influential sound on the soprano sax. These landmark recordings show the development of Coltrane's "great" quartet as well as forecast his iconoclastic excursions into the outer limits of rhythm and tonality, which grew during until his death in 1967. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

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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
  1. Giant Steps 4:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Cousin Mary 5:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Naima 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Like Sonny 5:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. My Shining Hour 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. My Favorite Things13:46Album Only
  7. Central Park West 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Summertime11:37Album Only
  9. Mr. Syms 5:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Equinox 8:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Body And Soul 5:37$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 15, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: February 15, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000046PVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,734 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By finulanu on July 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
It's tempting to laugh at a John Coltrane compilation, simply because so many of the man's albums are essential. However, even though this neglects Trane's awesome Impulse! albums, focusing instead on his Atlantic years, it's a great introduction to Trane before he revolutionized free jazz and turned himself into one of the jazz world's most controversial musicians as a result. Material from five albums is featured here: Giant Steps (a must-have album), My Favorite Things (ditto), Coltrane Plays the Blues (very solid album), Coltrane Jazz (right in the middle) and Coltrane's Sound (his weakest studio album, though it has its moments - all of them are found here). And the only questionable song on the album is Summertime, a standard I'm pretty well tired of: the Coltrane version is okay, but by far the weakest song on My Favorite Things (I'd rather either Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye or If Not For Me). Other than that one dud, my only complaint about this album is its rather limited scope: The Ole Coltrane album is entirely ignored, which is a shame because its title track (Well, semi-title track) would definitely qualify as "very best", and the fact is you can't get an idea of what Coltrane's like just by listening to his Atlantic recordings: you need the Impulse! ones too if you want the full picture. Still, as a summary of the Atlantic recordings, it's hard to go wrong with this one: you get a few of his most widely known originals (Equinox; Giant Steps; Naima; Cousin Mary; Like Sonny; Central Park West), and a couple superb covers (My Favorite Things; My Shining Hour; Body and Soul - hard to ruin a song with such a beautiful melody!!), as well as a dark horse that's got my blessing, Mr. Syms. And this does for the most part offer the peak of the man's Atlantic recordings.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By G. J Wiener on September 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
A comprehensive sampling of the style of John Coltrane and his supporting band mates. The man good really genenerate some creative tones out of his saxophone. I tend to prefer his slower more tuneful pieces like Central Park West, Mr. Syms, and Equinox. That last track really creates a mood.
However, the show stopper on this puppy is My Favorite Things. Not a wasted moment as Coltrane really makes this song his own. The piano accompanyment McCoy Tyner is stunning. But the varying interpretations on the theme are performed with perfecion.
Give this one a spin as it won't dissappoint you.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As far as I'm concerned, almost any collection of Coltrane tunes could hold up as a "Best Of" or "Greatest Hits" compilation. I have not heard this album in this form, but I have heard all of these tunes. And all of them are great. This album, more accurately described, should be titled "The Columbia Years," since these takes are from Trane's stint with this company. "Naima" and "Equinox" are two of my personal favs from this period. "My Favorite Things" is Coltrane's most commercially successful tune, but that does not detract from this classic in any way. Julie Andrews aint got nothin' on the Trane. THis may just be one of the best places to initiate your appreciation of Coltrane, since this disk contains music from one of his more accessible periods. No balls out Avante Guard mayhem here, as in later periods, just nice refined smooth jazz from the very best. A great place to start appreciating THE MAN.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Enrique Torres VINE VOICE on April 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album is excellent as it contains some of his most "popular" songs. I say this tongue in cheek because his style does not lend itself to popularity in a pop tune type of way. I go back with Coltrane to the days when he went through his various stages,his death and his posthumous gazillion recordings. Without a doubt, if you are a straight ahead jazz fan this a great album. I recently puchased it to add to my extensive Trane collection and was very pleased with the selection of works. My Favorite Things is a unique rendition of the classic Rogers and Hammerstein number, the full range of Trane comes out. On this tune you will experience the melodic, the driving rhythms, the far out embellishing of a soft tune, always puntuated by the classic Trane wall of sound. Summertime is another accesible tune penned by Heyward and Gershwin that is recognizable but improvised upon by Trane like no other, his sax soars to heights that bring you gently back down like only he can. I mention these two songs because they are familiar to many people. The difference is in Tranes style, like no other before him or since he transends the parameters usually afforded such standard songs to create a true "new" masterpiece. Coltrane has many different recordings of these songs but these hold up as well as any. One of my favorite recordings of My Favorite Things by Coltrane is from Japan with Eric Dolphy contributing on flute. For those unfamiliar with Trane this is a great place to start, for those who long for more this is a good addition. Naima, named after his first wife, was Coltranes personal favorite and mine as well. The song is in a word, beautiful. I have heard many different versions of this song by Trane and they are all fantastic.Read more ›
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