John Coltrane Essential Albums: Lush Life / Soultrane / Stardust / Burrell & Coltrane (4-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: November 1, 2011
- Label: Fantasy
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Like Someone In Love
- 2.I Love You
- 3.Trane's Slo Blues
- 4.Lush Life
- 5.I Hear a Rhapsody
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Good Bait
- 2.I Want To Talk About You
- 3.You Say You Care
- 4.Them For Ernie
- 5.Russian Lullaby
Tracks on Disc 3:
- 2.Time After Time
- 3.Love Thy Neighbor
- 4.Then I'll Be Tired of You
Tracks on Disc 4:
- 1.Freight Trane
- 2.I Never Knew
- 4.Why Was I Born?
- 5.Big Paul
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone).
Audio Remasterer: Rudy Van Gelder.
Liner Note Authors: Dan Morgenstern; Ira Gitler; Joe Goldberg; Ashley Kahn.
Recording information: Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (01/10/1958); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (02/07/1958); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (03/07/1958); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (05/31/1957); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (07/11/1958); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (08/16/1957); Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ (12/26/1958).
This four-disc box set issued by Prestige collects John Coltrane's sides for the label as a leader in 1957 and 1958, and his last date as a sideman for them. The material on Lush Life has its origins in two 1957 trio sessions and one quintet date from January of 1958. On the earlier sessions that make up three of the album's five tracks, the saxophonist is in the company of bassist Earl May and drummer Art Taylor. On the nearly 14-minute reading of the title tune and "I Hear a Rhapsody," Coltrane's company includes pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, trumpeter Donald Byrd, and Taylor. The sessions for Soultrane were recorded on February 7; the personnel comprised Garland, Chambers, and Taylor -- these latter three making up the pianist's concurrently running trio. While the album as a whole is flawless, its standouts include Coltrane's first recorded version of "I Want to Talk About You" and closer "Russian Lullaby," which is an early taste of what would become his "sheets of sound" approach. Stardust was recorded at two sessions in July and December. On the first date the group comprises trumpeter/flugelhornist Wilbur Harden, Garland, Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb; on the December date, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and Taylor replace Harden and Cobb. Stand-out tracks here include the opening title ballad and the hard-swinging "Then I'll Be Tired of You." The final album here, also recorded in 1958, was released as Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane. The others members of this album's quintet were pianist Tommy Flanagan, Chambers, and Cobb. The set contains a pair of Flanagan originals, one by Burrell, and two standards. While Coltrane feels somewhat constrained here -- even on the upbeat "Freight Train" -- his playing tends to move the groove right toward the session leader, who absolutely shines. Coltrane's gorgeous tone is heard best on the Oscar Hammerstein II/Jerome Kern nugget "Why Was I Born?" All of this material has been made available numerous times before in various packages; this one is budget-priced. ~ Thom Jurek
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