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John Coltrane: Soultrane

Douglas Payne By

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Tenor Titan John Coltrane (1926-67) made his solo recording debut on Prestige in 1956 and during his two and a half years with the label, sat in on an incredible 25 sessions. In 1958 alone, he'd recorded eight albums for the label and Prestige had enough material to continue releasing new Coltrane material into 1964! He never slowed down, leaving Prestige to record prolifically for Atlantic. Then, of course, there were the truckloads of significant records made for Impulse during the 1960s. This February 7, 1958, session - which came to be known as Soultrane - was the tenor's seventh session as a leader, and the first LP that followed his one Blue Note session, the more historic Blue Trane. Soultrane , made right after the tenor player rejoined Miles Davis's group, features the trumpeter's rhythm section of Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor. It has also has a noticeably looser, more felt vibe than the better known Blue Note session. Coltrane and Garland are especially compatible, and while nothing magical happens (as Coltrane showed effortlessly elsewhere), this remains an especially strong session. The mode is still strongly bop-oriented, with none of Coltrane's originals and the introduction of a favorite Coltrane theme, Billy Eckstine's "I Want To Talk About You" (revisited throughout the remainder of Coltrane's career). Also here are exceptionally good - but not necessarily definitive - takes of Tadd Dameron's "Good Bait," Irving Berlin's "Russian Lullaby," the lovely "Theme For Ernie" and Jules Styne's "You Say You Care." For a blowing date, though, it's hard to improve upon the appeal of this exceptionally fine session, alight as it is with some of the tenor's most assured and accessible playing. Highly enjoyable.

| Record Label: Prestige Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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