Personnel: John Coltrane, Johnny Griffin, Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Kenny Drew, Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor, Wynton Kelly (piano); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Paul Chambers, Steve Davis, Chuck Israels (bass); Philly Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Art Taylor, Louis Hayes, Art Blakey (drums).
Producers: Herbert Kimmel, Alfred Lion, Teddy Reig, Tim Wilson.
Compilation producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded between March 1956 and September 1960. Includes liner notes by Bob Belden.
Digitally remastered by Ron McMaster.
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Horace Silver, Kenny Drew, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Clark, Wynton Kelly, Cecil Taylor (piano); Elvin Jones, Louis Hayes, Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Art Taylor (drums).
Recording information: New York, NY (03/??/1956-09/08/1960); United Recorders, LA, CA (03/??/1956-09/08/1960); Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (03/??/1956-09/08/1960); Western Recorders, LA, CA (03/??/1956-09/08/1960).
In short, this collection of Coltrane performances is fantastic. Though each tune here is based on more or less traditional 12-bar blues structures, there is never a dull or predictable moment. The changes are as natural as breathing. Coltrane, flanked by such legends as Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, McCoy Tyner, Paul Chambers, and Art Blakey, simultaneously reveres and subverts the form with his wild, supremely inventive approach to harmonic expression. On "One And Four" (later recorded as "Mr. Day"), Coltrane modernizes the blues by superimposing the major third over the suspended chords, creating compelling, angular tensions.
"Trane's Blues," a tune Coltrane later re-recorded with Miles Davis, represents the saxophonist's gift for composing catchy themes around his challenging solo flights. The inclusion of two cuts from BLUE TRAIN makes this set a must. Both "Blue Trane" and "Locomotion" are modern jazz classics that feature definitive, virtuousic soloing by all of the musicians. TRANE'S BLUES is a keeper. This is a case study in how a musician can embrace one of the simplest, most traditional forms and revitalize it with dazzling, boundary-pushing creativity.