Personnel: John Coltrane (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Pharoah Sanders (saxophone, tambourine, bells); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone); Alice Coltrane, McCoy Tyner (piano); Rashied Ali , Roy Haynes (drums).
The time John Coltrane spent on the Impulse label, between 1962 and his death in 1967, was the most intense, inventive, and prolific of his career. In addition to putting a colossal amount of material to tape (which served the label well after the legend's untimely death), Coltrane was developing at an accelerated pace during these years, moving deeper into experiments based on avant garde principles, modal structures, world music influences, and his own spiritual beliefs.
This nine-track sampler is a fine (if brief) introduction to Trane's Impulse period. The set moves from the artist's deconstruction of post-bop (especially on the lengthy "Chasin' the Trane" from the classic LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD album) straight through to his frenetic attempts to break completely away from conventional structure ("The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost"). In between are gorgeous ballads ("After the Rain") and transcendental passages ("A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement"), all marked by Trane's peerless playing. Every jazz fan should explore his Impulse discography further, but IMPULSE STORY provides a solid, breathtaking overview.