Personnel: John Coltrane (saxophone); Wilbur Harden (trumpet, flugelhorn); Donald Byrd, Johnny Splawn (trumpet); Mal Waldron, Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers, Earl May (bass); Albert "Tootie" Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Arthur Taylor (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, New Jersey between 1957 & 1958.
This is part of Fantasy Records "Plays For Lovers" series.
Personnel: Wilbur Harden (trumpet, flugelhorn); Donald Byrd, Johnny Splawn (trumpet); Mal Waldron, Red Garland (piano); Jimmy Cobb , Albert "Tootie" Heath, Art Taylor (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Recording information: VanGelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ (05/31/1951-07/11/1958).
Few would deny John Coltrane's genius or his substantial influence on an entire generation of jazz musicians. That said, however, his is not necessarily the name that comes immediately to mind when you're thinking about a soundtrack for romance -- Coltrane's trademark "sheets of sound" approach to modal improvisation and his sometimes harsh tone may get listeners in the mood for many things, but love might not be one of them. However, this collection of ballad recordings originally issued on various albums between 1957 and 1958 makes a good case for Trane as a bedroom minstrel. He might not play with the elegant insinuation of Ben Webster or Lester Young, but his powerful tone is modulated and his incredible capacity for melodic invention is kept under control on such deathless material as the Billy Eckstine composition "I Want to Talk About You," Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," and the inevitable renditions of "Stardust" and "Like Someone in Love." It doesn't hurt at all that he is accompanied on the majority of these tracks by pianist Red Garland and bassist Paul Chambers, who by this point already formed the core of his most effective ensemble. If you own an extensive Coltrane catalog you'll probably have most of this material already, but even so, this collection makes a handy and eminently useful distillation of one aspect of his art. [The 2003 reissue of this album includes three tracks not included on the original version.] ~ Rick Anderson