Q - 11/03, p.1304 stars out of 5
- "...Coltrane's first significant release as a group leader still impresses with its uninhibited energy nearly 46 years on..."
JazzTimes - 9/97, p.87
"THE ULTIMATE BLUE TRAIN...lives up to its name.... The sound is better than on the album's previous incarnations. Previously unreleased takes of 'Lazy Bird' and the title tune significantly flesh out the record of this historic session..."
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Kenny Drew (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on September 15, 1957. Originally released on Blue Note (81577). Includes liner notes by Robert Levin and Bob Blumenthal.
This Enhanced-CD version of BLUE TRAIN features audio tracks from BLUE TRAIN, interviews with jazz musicians (including Curtis Fuller, who played trombone on BLUE TRAIN), still pictures and video clips from the period, and a multimedia biography of Coltrane.
Personnel includes: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Lee Morgan (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Kenny Drew (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); "Philly" Joe Jones (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna.
Digitally remastered by Ron McMaster.
Personnel: John Coltrane (alto & tenor saxophones); Gene Ammons, Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Jerome Richardson (flute); Tommy Flanagan, Red Garland, Mal Waldron (piano); Kenny Burrell (guitar); Paul Chambers, George Joyner, Earl May (bass); Jimmy Cobb, Arthur Taylor (drums).
Producer: Bob Weinstock.
Compilation producer: Ed Michel.
Recorded at the Ven Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey between August 16, 1957 and May 23, 1958. Includes liner notes by Stuart Kremsky.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1996, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (09/15/1957).
Recorded in 1957, BLUE TRAIN is considered by the artist himself to be his finest work. In the mid-50's, Trane played with Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk, and he used the experience to propel himself to new heights of improvisational hard bop. The elements that comprise BLUE TRAIN would come to influence every generation of musicians that followed.
The bluesy title track kicks in with an extended Coltrane tenor sax solo. Four years later Coltrane would also adopt soprano sax into his fold. This leads into solos by Lee Morgan on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Kenny Drew on piano and Paul Chambers brings it home on the bass. Philly Joe Jones keeps the beat impeccably throughout, with a slight shuffle. "Moment's Notice" quickens the pace and showcases Jones' more intricate drumming. "Locomotion" takes an almost rock 'n' roll pace with the sax and trumpet playing in perfect tandem. Coltrane then shows his diversity by taking it easy and delicate in "I'm Old Fashioned." "Lazy Bird" is an excellent mid tempo number that concludes the album.