Consilience Productions
CD Picks

John Coltrane
(b. 9/23/26 - Hamlet, NC    d. 7/17/67 - New York, NY)

Title: Blue Train
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor sax), Lee Morgan (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Kenny Drew (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), "Philly" Joe Jones (drums).
Recorded: 1957
Label: Blue Note
Comments: One of the most important of the jazz giants (usually mentioned with Armstrong, Ellington, Davis, and Parker), John Coltrane was known for his tireless practice schedule, at times falling asleep, exhausted, with his horn in his mouth. Through his hard work and prodigious talent, Coltrane created an entirely new vocabulary, both with his incredible sound and his unique harmonic ideas. You can't play jazz saxophone without going through the process of mimicking John Coltrane first.


Title: Giant Steps
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan, Cedar Walton, Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb, Lex Humphreys, Art Taylor (drums).
Recorded: 1959
Label: Atlantic
Comments: If you're ever stranded on that proverbial desert island, you just have to have this CD with you. One of the top three jazz CD's to own, Giant Steps highlights John Coltrane's new harmonic formula (of the song, Giant Steps) that has challenged and bedazzled jazz musicians since. Just check out how Tommy Flanagan struggles in the second chorus of his solo on the title tune!


Title: Crescent
Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Elvin Jones (drums)
Recorded: 1964
Label: Impulse!
Comments: Coltrane would go on to form this band, one of the greatest ever in the history of jazz. As all of the greatest artists seem to be, Coltrane was infinitely humble with tremendous amounts of energy, at times playing for an hour at a time. Elvin Jones talks about one of his greatest musical experiences being during a concert in Philadelphia where this band played for three straight hours without a break!! Afterwards, Elvin said that Coltrane was ready to start the next tune right after the last note of that three hour marathon was played. And all this energy from a man who would drive cross-country for 5 straight days and say maybe 10 words the entire trip (* from another Elvin Jones anecdote)!

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