311

John Coltrane: The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
John Coltrane: The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years Does the world really need another John Coltrane compilation album? Yes, most certainly. The world needs as many Coltrane albums, of any description, as can be thrown at it. Even the tackiest, most opportunistic Coltrane compilations—take a bow Coltrane For Lovers (Impulse!, 2001) and Plays For Lovers (Prestige, 2003)—are redeemed by the presence of their subject, perhaps the greatest tenor saxophonist who ever lived, and certainly the most influential and enduring.



The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years is, in any case, a fine selection of material from Coltrane's first purple period as a bandleader—early 1959 through summer 1961, before the final, crowning glories of his time with Impulse! (from 1961 until his passing in 1967).



For Atlantic, Coltrane recorded seven, extraordinary own-name albums, five of them in 1960 alone—Giant Steps (1959), Coltrane Jazz (1960), The Avant-Garde (1960), My Favorite Things (1960), Coltrane's Sound (1960), Coltrane Plays The Blues (1960) and Ole Coltrane (1961). In addition, as co-leader with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, he recorded Bags Meets Trane (1959).



If you stuck pins in the track listings of these discs, selecting fifteen tracks entirely by chance, you'd be guaranteed of coming up with something pretty much as special as this collection—for there simply isn't one bum tune on any of the original albums. But actually, The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years has been more thoughtfully selected than that.

Personal preferences aside, most Coltrane fans would rate The Avant-Garde, Ole Coltrane and Bags Meets Trane as, relatively speaking, the least well-realized of the Atlantic sets. The compiler of The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years shares this view, and accordingly has selected four tracks from Giant Steps (including, of course, the iconic title track), three from Coltrane Jazz, one from My Favorite Things (the heartrendingly beautiful "Every Time We Say Goodbye") plus an edit of the title track made for 45rpm single release, three from Coltrane's Sound, one from Coltrane Plays The Blues (arguably under-represented vis-a-vis the other original albums), one from Ole Coltrane and one from Bags Meets Trane. The Avant-Garde is ignored completely.



Quite who this latest Coltrane compilation is aimed at is unclear, but whoever they are they're almost bound to love it. As a single CD introduction to Coltrane's Atlantic years it could hardly be bettered; and as a program for existing connoisseurs to whack in the deck and enjoy it won't fail to deliver either.


Track Listing: Giant Steps; Cousin Mary; Naima; Stairway To The Stars; My Favourite Things, Part 1; Mr P.C.; Little Old Lady; Like Sonny; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Central Park West; My Shining Hour; Mr Syms; Equinox; Body And Soul; Aisha.

Personnel: John Coltrane: tenor (1-4, 6-8, 11, 13-15) and soprano (5, 9, 10, 12) saxophone; Tommy Flanagan (1, 2, 6), Wynton Kelly (3, 7, 8, 11), Hank Jones (4), McCoy Tyner (5,9,10,12-15): piano; Paul Chambers (1-4, 6-8, 11), Steve Davis (5, 9, 10, 12-14), Reggie Workman (15): bass; Art Taylor (1, 2, 6), Jimmy Cobb (3, 7, 11), Connie Kay (4), Elvin Jones (5, 9, 10, 12-15): drums; Milt Jackson (4): vibraphone; George Lane (15): alto saxophone; Freddie Hubbard (15): trumpet.

Title: The Very Best Of The Atlantic Years | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Warner Bros.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read My Head Is Listening CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Ugly Beauty CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "Live! Rancho Nicasio" CD/LP/Track Review Live! Rancho Nicasio
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Esse" CD/LP/Track Review Esse
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Guitar Fantasies" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Fantasies
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!