John Coltrane - Coltrane (180gram Vinyl)
Recorded in 1962, Coltrane was John Coltrane's third album for Impulse, but the first devoted entirely to his regular working group. It was also the first album on any label to showcase what came to be known as the classic John Coltrane Quartet. That group with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums established itself as one of the most influential ensembles in jazz.
After establishing himself as a new star with Miles Davis quintet, the Thelonious Monk quartet, and various Prestige recordings with Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, and Tadd Dameron, John Coltrane made his debut as a leader with this LP. It was also the first album on any label to showcase what came to be known as the classic John Coltrane Quartet. That group, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums, established itself in its four years of existence as one of the most influential ensembles in jazz, and one of the most popular as well. The quartet offers wonderful readings here of "The Inch Worm" and "Out Of This World" plus the tracks "Soul Eyes," "Tunji" and "Miles' Mode."
"Considered by many to be his finest single album, Coltrane finds John Coltrane displaying all of the exciting elements that sparked brilliance and allowed his fully formed instrumental voice to shine through in the most illuminating manner. On tenor saxophone, he's simply masterful, offering the burgeoning sheets of sound philosophy into endless weavings of melodic and tuneful displays of inventive, thoughtful, driven phrases. Coltrane also plays a bit of soprano saxophone as a primer for his more exploratory work to follow. Meanwhile, bassist Jimmy Garrison, drummer Elvin Jones, and especially the stellar McCoy Tyner have integrated their passionate dynamics into the inner whole of the quartet. The result is a most focused effort, a relatively popular session to both his fans or latecomers, with five selections that are brilliantly conceived and rendered. "Out of This World," at over 14 minutes in modal trim, is a powerful statement, stretched over Tyner's marvelous and deft chords, the churning rhythms conjured by Jones, and the vocal style Coltrane utilizes as he circles the wagons on this classic melody, including a nifty key change.
"Tunji" is a mysterious, easily rendered piece in 4/4 which speaks to the spiritual path Coltrane tred, a bit riled up at times while Tyner remains serene. Hard bop is still in the back of their collective minds during "Miles' Mode," a sliver of a melody that jumps into jam mode in a free-for-all blowing session, while the converse is to be found in Mal Waldron's "Soul Eyes," the quintessential ballad and impressive here for the way Coltrane's holds notes, emotion, and expressive intellectuality. On soprano you can tell Coltrane is close to taking complete control of his newly found voicings, as a playful, jaunty "The Inch Worm" in 3/4 time is only slightly strained, but in which he finds complete communion with the others. Even more than any platitudes one can heap on this extraordinary recording, it historically falls between the albums Olé Coltrane and Impressions -- completing a triad of studio efforts that are as definitive as anything Coltrane ever produced, and highly representative of him in his prime." - Michael G. Nastos, All Music
1. Out of This World
2. Soul Eyes
3. The Inch Worm
4. Tunji (Toon-gee)
5. Miles' Mode