Personnel: John Coltrane (saxophone); McCoy Tyner (piano); Reggie Workman (bass instrument); Elvin Jones (drum).
This CD combines together the two related Africa/Brass LPs that formed John Coltrane's debut on the Impulse! label. On these dates the great tenor was backed by groups ranging from nine to 14 pieces playing pieces arranged by Eric Dolphy. "Africa" (which is heard in two versions) is the most memorable selection on an extended set that also includes "Blues Minor," "Song of the Underground Railroad," and two versions of "Greensleeves." Two other numbers from these sessions (a third take of "Africa" and "The Damned Don't Cry"), both of which were released on the double-LP Trane's Modes, are all that is missing. Although it would have been preferred that such sidemen as trumpeter Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and Eric Dolphy himself had received some solo space (only Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones, and the various bassists get to stand out individually), the music is quite rewarding and sometimes haunting. [Universal''s 2007 edition included bonus tracks.] ~ Scott Yanow