Fearless Leader [6 CD] Box set, Original recording remastered
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1. Performances: While some call Coltrane's Prestige albums "emergent" or "formative", keep in mind that he was already thirty years old, had recently kicked heroin and alcohol, and was finishing his definitive work with Thelonious Monk when he began these sessions. While the settings are more traditional, he was covering a ton of new ground at this point. Volumes have been written about this music, so I won't go on and on. Suffice it to say that there is a lot of fantastic jazz to be found in these Prestige sessions.
2. Sound: Rudy Van Gelder is legendary for a reason. His recording techniques were superb, and benefit greatly from the new 24 bit mastering in this set.
3. Packaging: As the other reviewer noted, there must have been a typo in the Amazon reviewer's use of the term "subpar". The six CDs are packaged in a beautiful box, an extremely informative booklet includes excellent analysis by Lewis Porter, autor of the definitive Coltrane biography "John Coltrane, His Life and Music", and concludes the cover art and original liner notes from each of the albums represented in this box.
4. Value: Earlier CD versions of all 11 original albums included in this box are still available individually, often at prices of $11.95 a piece or higher. That's $132 for older versions lacking the 24 bit mastering and excellent booklet.... makes the decision easy when Amazon's price for the box is $53.99, and some Amazon partners have it even cheaper.
All in all, this is not one to pass up.
The recently released six-CD set "Fearless Leader" on Prestige, gathers nine sessions recorded between May 31, 1957 and December 26, 1958. From these sessions the label fashioned a total of eleven LPs, including his first as a leader, the aptly titled "Coltrane."
The saxophonist's tenure at Prestige was also the subject of a recently discontinued 16-CD set that included everything except his work with Miles Davis' quintet. Whereas that set was clearly geared towards the completist, "Fearless Leader" is sure to have a much broader appeal, not just from a price standpoint. The benefit of a narrower scope enables the set to paint a much more concise, almost linear portrait of Coltrane's first phase of artistic and instrumental development.
Presenting the tunes in chronological order, the programming of the original LPs is sacrificed. However, the accompanying 60-page booklet includes photos of the original LP art and essays about each. It also cross-references the discs and tracks so that listeners can replicate the original LP sequences.
Comprised of ballads, blues, and the post-bop which defined the era, Coltrane's instrumental ferocity which ultimately manifested itself in his "sheets of sound" style moves to the fore. Cast in group settings that range from a pianoless trio to sextet, roughly half of the tunes find Coltrane at the helm of a quintet with a trumpet sharing duty on the front-line.Read more ›
Also are the CDs in the Prestige Recordings of JC remastered by Rudy Van Gelder as they are in Fearless Leader?
With the reissue revolution it's hard for the buyer to keep track of things. Any help will be appreciated.
REVISED: Since asking the above questions regarding replication I've purchased Fearless Leader and done some more research on the Prestige boxed set. So here are the answers for those that may find them helpful.
1. All of the songs in the boxed set, Fearless Leader, are replicated in Prestige Recordings. The big difference is the remastering. Fearless Leader's complete 11 original disc content with Coltrane as leader are remastered using the RVG (Ruy Van Gelder) process. The credits for remastering state Joe Tarantino of Fantasy doing the remastering.
As far as I can tell the original transfers by Joe Tarantino are what is offered with the Prestige renderings. Simply put, the Prestige set is just a reissue collection of original transfers that have already been offered at various times in the past. Nothing new in terms of sonics or remastering. The big plus with the Prestige set is that it includes most everything ever recorded by Coltrane for the Prestige label (SideSteps may be the exception).
2. While some may disagree, the RVG process in my opinion produces far superior sonics relative to the original Prestige CD releases. This is especially noticeable if you have a good stereo playback system.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Music, no argument here. My beef is with the packaging of the box set. The book always slides out and falls to the floor. And the disc holders are too tight. Read morePublished 3 months ago by T. Pencak
If you're looking at this you know who this master is. The music speaks for itself and it is truly timeless. Read morePublished 21 months ago by D.
This 6 CD collection from Prestige is terrific Coltrane - great material and a bargain to boot. I recommend this set highly.Published on March 30, 2013 by David Furgerson
One of the best compilations of a master at work. A must have for Coltrane fans if you want his best.Published on February 23, 2013 by M. D. Cugini
I've been on a Coltrane kick lately. This box set is awesome!
Coltrane just blows my mind with his beautiful tone and precise leads.
After reviewing all the songs I liked on Pandora, I realized Coltrane and Miles topped the list. I saw that
the 3 part series of Coltrane recordings at Prestige was on sale,... Read more
What a treat it is to have all of these early Trane recordings in a convenient 6 disc box and in RVG remastered form. Read morePublished on February 5, 2009 by J. Grant
coltrane was phenomenal,and this box set further proves it.Great supporting muscians(especially the late great bassist, paul chambers who would walk you to the moon). Read morePublished on April 23, 2008 by Ziggy