Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); John Coltrane; Doug Watkins, Earl May, John Simmons , Paul Chambers (bass instrument); Sahib Shihab (alto saxophone); Pepper Adams, Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd, Idrees Sulieman, Wilbur Harden (trumpet); Mal Waldron, Red Garland, Tadd Dameron (piano); Ed Thigpen, Jimmy Cobb , Albert "Tootie" Heath, Louis Hayes, Philly Joe Jones, Art Taylor (drums).
Liner Note Author: Joe Goldberg.
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (11/30/1956-12/26/1958).
Photographer: Esmond Edwards.
Recorded around the same time as his work with Miles Davis's first renowned quintet (which also included pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones), the 1956-'58 sessions presented on this Prestige collection highlight tenor saxophonist John Coltrane's emerging talent as a leader of his own ensembles, and would pave the way for his groundbreaking '60s output. Many of the tracks, most notably the bold interpretation of "Come Rain or Come Shine" and the percussive take on "Bahia," feature Garland and Chambers, with trumpeter Donald Byrd and pianist Mal Waldron also sitting in on a few songs. The result is an overview of a towering artist finding his own musical voice in a primarily hard-bop setting (check out his own simmering "Trane's Slo Blues"). This stellar 2005 set also includes a bonus disc that compiles Prestige tracks by some of Coltrane's sidemen (Garland and Waldron), along with other jazz luminaries.