Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics, and bonus tracks. Features original cover artwork. The complete recordings done by John Coltrane for Bethlehem Records – mostly cut during December of 1957, and issued on the albums The Winner's Circle and Art Blakey Big Band! Both albums were a bit unusual for the label – in that The Winner's Circle was sort of a blowing/jam session type record, cut with some of the big poll winners of the year, but with shorter tracks than the usual Prestige-styled set of that nature. The lineup includes Donald Byrd, Al Cohn, Eddie Costa, Oscar Pettiford, and Philly Joe Jones – and Coltrane's a bit buried in the group, but gets out some nice licks from time to time.
It would be only to mention the name of John Coltrane and you cause the whole world of fantasies and of feelings, even to the most recalcitrant and to the most uninterested. Coltrane, that some people consider to be a God of music and of improvisation, inspires the deepest respect for a work without concession, marked by a deep research of spirituality. He was, after Charlie Parker in 1940 and on 1950, considered to be the revolutionariest and the most influential saxophonist of the history of the jazz, leader of the common avant-gardist in 1960s, and one of the most important artists of the music of the second half of the 20th century. John Coltrane always tried to surpass himself on all plans: technology, by exploring new modes of expression, searching new tones, new stamps and of new ways of spreading the tessiture and the dynamics of its instrument.
Bahia is a steady, often very good hard-blowing and blues date featuring John Coltrane, recorded during one of his busiest periods, 1957-1958, but not released until 1965. (Coltrane cut numerous sessions during the late '50s for Prestige to satisfy a commitment to the label and move to Atlantic; some of these were packaged and released long after they were cut.) Most were done with the same rhythm section: pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Art Taylor (although Jimmy Cobb substituted for Taylor on two songs). Also featured is additional work by a pair of trumpeters: Wilbur Harden appears on "My Ideal" and "I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All," while Freddie Hubbard takes over on "Something I Dreamed Last Night."
This single-disc Concert in Japan by John Coltrane's 1966 quintet is a reissue of the original double LP that was released as IMR 9036C in 1973. Its three selections include two long instrumental pieces and a spoken introduction of the musicians in Japanese. These performances are compiled from two Tokyo dates. This set is not to be confused with the four-disc document that includes both Tokyo concerts in their entirety. The band here performs a 25-minute "Peace on Earth," a ballad that Coltrane wrote especially for the tour, to express his empathy and sympathy for the nuclear destruction Japan experienced during WWII. The tune moves outside, but stays well within the realm of spiritual boundary-pushing that the band was easily capable of.
Recorded on August 26, 1965 (and not released until after his death in heavily edited form), Sun Ship was the final recording by John Coltrane's quartet with drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. After nearly four years together, this band had achieved a vital collective identity. When Coltrane moved toward metrically free styles of rhythm and melody (with tunes often based on one chord or a short series of notes as themes), the quartet's rhythmic pulse and collective interplay evolved accordingly. The title track opens with a splintered theme. Garrison and Jones group dramatically around the leader's call, then rhythmically abstract the pulse; they imply a central rhythm more than state one.
There's no sense of "transition" here – as the album's an incredibly solid one, and stands with John Coltrane's best mid 60s work for Impulse – even if the session wasn't issued by the label until after his early death! The work builds strongly on the Love Supreme vibe – soaring, searching, and finding whole new space in jazz – but all with a unified conception that's driven by an unbridled sense of energy. The group here is the quartet with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – and we're still quite puzzled why Impulse never managed to get this one released until a few years later! Titles include "Transition", "Dear Lord", and the side-long "Prayer and Meditation" suite.