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Coltrane Jazz Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 13, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Import only expanded edition reissue of 1960 album includes 4 bonus tracks. Warner. 2005.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2008)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Rhino/Wea UK
  • ASIN: B0006M4SPK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,041 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tyler Smith on April 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Overshadowed by the critical buzz generatd by "Giant Steps" and "My Favorite Things," lacking the exoticism of "Ole" or the big-name partnerships of "Bags and Trane," or "The Avant-Garde," this album is one of the least-discussed of the saxophonist's Atlantic recordings. And I did find it easy to overlook it when I first heard it many years ago.
On first listening it seemed, for some reason, to lack the usual emotion of a Coltrane recording. On repeated listenings over the years, I've come to appreciate the album much more and now consider it a very solid midlevel entry in his discography (which makes it a pretty darn good album).
True, the playing on some of the tracks (Little Old Lady"; "My Shining Hour") is not as compelling as we expect from Trane; they're certainly worth listening to, but they feel more like some of his more ordinary material from the Prestige years. And unlike the nearly perfectly crafted "Giant Steps" and "My Favorite Things," the album doesn't have that "spot-on" sound that makes you feel like he could not have produced an album that could sound better.
Still, it's a Coltrane album, so satisfying listening moments are not lacking. For the power that only a really good Trane solo can offer, there's "Harmonique," with its memorable tag in which he plays more than one note simultaneously. "Fifth House" effectively displays his interest in Eastern sounds; "Like Sonny" has a very attractive Latin-tinged line with some exciting, fluid soloing; "I'll Wait and Pray" is a typically effective ballad; and "Some Other Blues" shows once again his mastery of that form.
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By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This record is overshadowed by the one preceding it, namely the technically superb Giant Steps which blew up Bebop from inside out, and the one that came after it, the nice but tame sounding My Favourite Things with the commercial hit of the same name. But it is more experimental than the accomplished complex Giant Steps, and though the blowing there had a razorsharp edge, here the playing of Coltrane is richer, even if it has sometimes an unsure feel to it and doesn't hit as hard and fast, due probably to the unknown territory he was beginnning to explore once more. Strange harmonical effects are tried out and melodically a more exotic and diverse atmosphere is reached. Coltrane Jazz also has something wild about it that Favourite things lacks. More than once you'll find yourself exclaiming this is crazy. And beautifull... It is the first sign of the great things to come in the Impulse period.
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Format: Audio CD
This was one of Coltrane's transitional LPs, released between two of his best-known albums (Giant Steps and My Favorite Things). In fact, the original album draws from sessions that made up both albums -- one track ("Village Blues") from the My Favorite Things/Coltrane Plays the Blues/Coltrane's Sound sessions (October 1960), and the other 7 from the sessions that also produced one classic tune for Giant Steps ("Naima", December 1959).

As you would expect, the album has a transitional feel, fitting in between its better known neighbors. While most of the performances are very good, few of them have the bracing impact of the best Coltrane Atlantics and I wouldn't put this one in the first tier. (My personal favorites are Coltrane's Sound, Coltrane Plays the Blues, and Giant Steps.) "Village Blues" was most listeners' first taste of the McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones rhythm section, and sounds similar to another minor blues recorded around the same date ("Equinox", on Coltrane's Sound).

The 1959 tunes are divided between more traditional, conservative tunes and more radical experimentation, all with the great Wynton Kelly/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb rhythm section as backup. The best of the experimental tracks is "Fifth House", based on Tad Dameron's "Hot House". Like "My Favorite Things", "Ole" and many other noteworthy performances, Coltrane spends much of his time improvising intensely on one vamp. "Harmonique" is another interesting tune -- Coltrane incorporates saxophone multiphonics (playing more than one note at a time) into the song's melody, providing an exotic sound. I feel the song is hamstrung a bit by the more traditional rhythm section, which sounds a little too tight.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite coming after the revolutionary "Giant Steps" (Coltrane's most important, musically influential album, in my estimation), this recording, also on Atlantic, features a more conservative, melodically-minded Coltrane than the previous outing (with a few harmonically adventurous exceptions such as "Fifth House" and "Harmonique"). There are three rhythm sections, with Wynton Kelly the pianist on 6 of the 12 tracks comprising my copy (a 2004 release in the Atlantic Masters series). McCoy Tyner and Cedar Walton occupy the piano chair on the other tracks, but the proceedings are especially grooving, the solos unfailingly melodic and inventive on the tracks with the always infectious, felicitous Kelly piano (Paul Chambers also deserves much of the credit). To anyone who knows the American Songbook, the performance of Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer's "My Shining Hour" (taken up-tempo) is bound to be a highlight. And Coltrane leaves his soprano in its case, which is just fine by me. This is close to being essential Coltrane--similar to the vibe of "Blue Train" but better--if only because, with only one instead of three horns, Trane gets three times the playing time.

[Even a negative vote beats the apathy normally received by Coltrane and the music itself. Whatever one thinks of this reviewer's humble attempt to represent this music accurately, don't let that be an obstacle to experiencing this music first-hand.]
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