Disc 1 :
1. Out Of This World
2. Soul Eyes
3. The Inch Worm
5. Miles' Mode
Disc 2 :
1. Not Yet
2. Miles' Mode
9. Big Nick
10. Up 'Gainst The Wall
The album "Coltrane " has long been one of my favourite
recordings. It is interesting to note that this was his third release
on Impulse, but was the first studio date issued featuring his classic
quartet. There are a few groups in the history of Jazz which have
achieved legendary status,amongst them being Louis Armstrong's Hot
Five, the 1940's Ellington Orchestra and the Modern Jazz Quartet.
This John Coltrane Quartet is of equal significance, both in terms
of influence and musical quality. It is hard to believe that a group
which produced such a varied, exciting and expansive catalogue lasted
no more than five years.
Apparently John Coltrane was given a great deal of
freedom as to the actual amount of material he recorded, the only
real limitation being the stipulation for minimum number of albums
per year, hence the plethora of alternate takes of comparable quality
to the original releases which are now being issued for the first
time. This is interesting as it serves to illustrate the probing nature
of Coltrane's playing throughout his career. Here was a talent which
could never be satisfied with standing still and resting on past glories
. I feel that this inquisitive, obsessive personality is very much
to the fore on this disc.
"Out Of This World " must rate as one of Coltrane's
finest recordings . His convoluted solo over the unusual 6/8 rhythm
transform this Harold Arlen standard into a performance which very
much lives up to its title. " Soul Eyes " has become a modern classic
amongst ballads and this is one of the definitive renditions. "Inch
Worm " is an early soprano feature - another attractive Jazz-Waltz,
Coltrane seemed to particularly favour this metre on the smaller saxophone.
"Tunji" is a tribute to the Nigerian drummer whose name it is an abbreviation
of and "Mile's Mode" is self explanatory although it is sometimes
known as "The Red Planet". These last three tunes mentioned are Coltrane
originals as are "Up 'Gainst The Wall" ( a blues) and " Big Nick"
( a tribute to the tenor player George Nicholas ) which are to be
found on Disc 2 and were originally released on other albums . The
two versions of " Impressions," had very different fates, one being
unreleased until this time and the other appearing on a "Best of "
compilation. This tune is a modal piece and is in fact John Coltrane's
version of the sequence used by Miles Davis for "So What."
In summing up, this is a superb release of a classic
album with great bonus tracks and wonderful re-mastering and presentation
.No collection of works of John Coltrane could be truly representative
without this album.