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The Ultimate Blue Train
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on May 17, 2017
John Coltane's only Blue Note album as leader is an absolute cracker. From the opening track to the last, this is one of Coltrane's best "early" albums. He is in total command of his tenor and this album includes one of the best jazz ballads you will ever hear with "I'm Old Fashioned". Highly recommended to anyone interested in jazz. The vinyl version is new to me, but rich in sonic detail.
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on November 30, 2008
This is a classic jazz recording without a doubt in my mind. If anyone gave this a bad review they're clearly not listening hard enough, because this is the only album that I really dug. Perhaps it was his choice of sidemen: Lee Morgan on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Kenny Drew on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums, I'm not sure, but all I know is this album is the most swinging in Coltrane's discography, although "Giant Steps" was pretty good as well, but I always enjoyed hearing Coltrane with other horn players. His tone on this record was by far the best it ever sounded.

Anyone interested in hearing Coltrane, then pick this album up first! You won't be sorry.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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on December 4, 2011
This is my fourth copy of Blue Train. I fell in love it with the album on a small system in a dorm room capable of filling the room but not set up for active listening. Some years later, with a system that allowed me just to sit and listen, I bought a remaster and then, a bit later, an SACD version of the remaster. None won me over. In the previous releases, the numbers didn't fill the soundstage with genuine integrity. Instead, each instrument was neatly but discretely located. And the horns had a digitized bite: not the attention grabbing surge of a horn, but a kind of scrape that so many CD's betray. And I'm not a "vinyl is the only way" kind of guy. Quite the opposite. I love the clean, dynamic range of a brilliantly mastered CD. And that is just what we have here; Analogue Productions has got this one right. It swings with a kind of energy and integrity that its predecessors lack and the horns have the most natural tone without sounding smoothed over or softened to compensate for the kind of edge that digital sources can bring. Just brilliant, a complete home run. (That this is an awesome Coltrane album I take to be an already settled issue.)
3 helpful votes
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on September 25, 2001
Only a misguided jazz philistine would consider this work anything other than essential, but a few words specifically about Blue Note's DVD-audio version: Unlike a growing number of other titles in this new format, this is a stereo recording, not remastered to other multichannel formats like Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS. That said, this is truly a reference recording, described by the liner notes as Master Tape Sound (MTS). The greater presence, clarity, and dynamic range offered by the 24-bit/96kHz digital data stream is easily discernable even on low-end systems. There will probably never be a more definitive version of this recording. Highly recommended.
6 helpful votes
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on April 3, 2014
One of the worst cultural things to ever happen, IMHO, was the USA COPYRIGHT LAW, which allows "According to the most recent revisions in 1998, authors are now granted life plus 70 years of exclusive control and corporations owning copyright are granted 95 years."
[...]

Europe, however, has a longer history of cultural appreciation, so it makes warped sense that you need to get European copies of great American music.

This is a good example. Dig it!
2 helpful votes
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Two discs-42 minutes each approximately. The booklet contains a short essay on Coltrane's life in music up to this album, and on through to his death. Every Coltrane/jazz fan has heard this album, recorded in 1957. Besides Coltrane, it features Lee Morgan-trumpet, Curtis Fuller-trombone, Paul Chambers-bass, Philly Joe Jones-drums, and Kenny Drew-piano. You may feel the monaural version is worth less-for reasons listed below. This set (especially in mono) is somewhere between 2-3 "stars", so approach accordingly.

The stereo version is clean and punchy-without sounding harsh. There's an open feel to the sound, being in stereo-but fans (like me) may also be interested in hearing a monaural version of this great album. Overall the sound doesn't have the "open space" feeling as heard in the stereo version. However there's a fullness, an evenness to the sound that's missing in stereo.

In mono each instrument can still be heard easily. The highs from Morgan's trumpet are a bit harsh sounding-as if the trumpet had reached the highest recording levels. But when he stays out of the higher registers, the sound is fine. The lows are full without sounding muddy.

I'm assuming that the source for the mono album (if not both) is from a good vinyl source. Listening without headphones I can't hear any horrible sonic anomalies-sometimes apparent when even a good vinyl copy is used as the source. With headphones I detect some occasional slight anomalies-so if you're a true audiophile-you may want to pass this by. I wish someone would release this in mono from a good source-maybe one day.

So, if you're curious to hear this seminal album in mono, and/or want it for your Coltrane library, this is worth purchasing-as long as you understand that it's not anywhere near a perfect recording. And the low price (as of this writing) makes it worth a listen-as long as you know what you're getting.
3 helpful votes
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on September 6, 2008
John Coltrane regarded himself as one who ceaselessly searched for the next stage in his musical development. He transitioned through various jazz forms from fifties hard bop to the new music of the sixties. He is therefore an influential touchstone in jazz. Along the way, he touched Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, Eric Dolphy and Miles Davies as well as a bevy of talented sidesmen. As his career progressed, he developed a strong three-octave sound on tenor sax, and in the sixties, a soulful lyricism on soprano sax as well.

Complex improvisations and ventures into other musical forms were groundbreaking at the time and deserve to be recognised as such now. The hard-driving tenor sax style we have grown used to since owes a debt to that period.

This 10 CD set amply traces the musical transitioning, and provides a detailed sound, allowing the majestic John Coltrane tone to shine through the mix. However, some interpretive sleeve notes would have assisted in providing a better appreciation of what was a significant jazz career.
8 helpful votes
9 helpful votes
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on October 27, 2017
i just love coltrane. good listening
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on November 6, 2017
you already know
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on March 24, 2013
This CD is better than the reviews. From opening note to closing song, it is amazing how it gets better with age. Trane before the heroine took him down. I would equate this to Miles's "Kind of Blue". I hope I helped, but it certainly is a cannot miss. It still sounds like it was made yesterday. Out of all his fellow peers, I also think that this CD with Cannonball Adderley compliments Miles even better than Freddie Hubbard or John Coltrane. I know that is a stretch, and maybe personal opinion, but Adderley new Miles was a prodigy, and/or just could make the adjustments to is ego, to let Mr. Davis "Chase that Voodoo Down"
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