John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Rhino Replicas Edition) CD Track Listing

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John Coltrane Giant Steps (Rhino Replicas Edition) (1960)
Giant Steps (Rhino Replicas Edition)\n2007 Warner Bros./Rhino\n\nOriginally Released 1960\nCD Edition Released June 1987\nRemastered + Expanded Atlantic Jazz Gallery CD Edition Released March 3, 1998\nMFSL Gold CD Edition Released July 12, 1994\nRhino Replicas Mini LP CD Edition Released March 6, 2007\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated. Giant Steps bore the double-edged sword of furthering the cause of the music as well as delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience. Although this was John Coltrane's debut for Atlantic, he was concurrently performing and recording with Miles Davis. Within the space of less than three weeks, Coltrane would complete his work with Davis and company on another genre-defining disc, Kind of Blue, before commencing his efforts on this one. Coltrane (tenor sax) is flanked by essentially two different trios. Recording commenced in early May of 1959 with a pair of sessions that featured Tommy Flanagan (piano) and Art Taylor (drums), as well as Paul Chambers -- who was the only band member other than Coltrane to have performed on every date. When recording resumed in December of that year, Wynton Kelly (piano) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) were instated -- replicating the lineup featured on Kind of Blue, sans Miles Davis of course. At the heart of these recordings, however, is the laser-beam focus of Coltrane's tenor solos. All seven pieces issued on the original Giant Steps are likewise Coltrane compositions. He was, in essence, beginning to rewrite the jazz canon with material that would be centered on solos -- the 180-degree antithesis of the art form up to that point. These arrangements would create a place for the solo to become infinitely more compelling. This would culminate in a frenetic performance style that noted jazz journalist Ira Gitler accurately dubbed "sheets of sound." Coltrane's polytonal torrents extricate the amicable and otherwise cordial solos that had begun decaying the very exigency of the genre -- turning it into the equivalent of easy listening. He wastes no time as the disc's title track immediately indicates a progression from which there would be no looking back. Line upon line of highly cerebral improvisation snake between the melody and solos, practically fusing the two. The resolute intensity of "Countdown" does more to modernize jazz in 141 seconds than many artists do in their entire careers. Tellingly, the contrasting and ultimately pastoral "Naima" was the last tune to be recorded, and is the only track on the original long-player to feature the Kind of Blue quartet. What is lost in tempo is more than recouped in intrinsic melodic beauty. Both Giant Steps [Deluxe Edition] and the seven-disc Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings offer more comprehensive presentations of these sessions. -- Lindsay Planer\n\nAmazon.com essential recording\nReleased in January 1960, John Coltrane's first album devoted entirely to his own compositions confirmed his towering command of tenor saxophone and his emerging power as a composer. Apprenticeships with Dizzy, Miles, and Monk had helped focus his furious, expansive solos, and his stamina and underlying sense of harmonic adventure brought Coltrane, at 33, to a new cusp--the polytonal "sheets of sound" that distinguished his marathon solos were offset by interludes of subtle, concise lyricism, embodied here in the tender "Naima." That classic ballad is a calm refuge from the ecstatic, high-speed runs that spark the set's up-tempo climaxes, which begin with the opening title song, itself a cornerstone of modern jazz composition. This exemplary reissue benefits from eight alternate takes of the original album's seven stellar tracks, excellent remastering of the original tapes, and an expanded annotation. --Sam Sutherland \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nColtrane's most important album., May 7, 2002 \nReviewer: Samuel Chell (Kenosha,, WI United States) \nIt's understandable that many listeners may prefer to "Giant Steps" the more accessible earlier or later Trane. The former offers up his explorations within more familiar song forms; the latter makes the song secondary to the soloist's quest for a rapture beyond musical form altogether. "Giant Steps," on the other hand, is a musican's album. It set a new standard not only for saxophonists but all musicians, requiring a combination of harmonic knowledge and technical facility that sent numerous musicians back to the woodshed for countless hours of practice. Without this album, and especially the title song and "The Countdown," Coltrane's early work would have seemed short of realizing its potential, and his later work would have been open to increasing suspicion about his actual credentials. Like Armstrong's cadenza on "West End Blues" and Bird's break on "Night in Tunisia," "Giant Steps" turned heads and gave a generation of musicians a whole new understanding of what jazz improvisation was capable of producing.\n\nFor the more technically minded, Trane's revision of dominant-tonic harmony is more impressive than his later embracing of modes as the sole platform for his scales and upper register probings. Suggested by the challenging bridge of Rodgers and Hart's "Have You Met Miss Jones," the sequence moves through a cycle of descending major thirds which, in the hands of most musicians, feels awkward and unnatural. Coltrane not only mastered the sequence but learned how to use it as a substitution in conventional harmonic settings. More impressively, he learned to execute it with an agility and naturalness that makes it possible for the listener to ignore the harmonic underpinning entirely and be swept up by the wave of emotion and melodic inventiveness.\n\n"Giant Steps" is the main reason Sonny Rollins temporarily stopped playing in public. To his credit he came up with his own solution to the tyrannous sameness of much pop song harmony, but he was never able to come to terms with the harmonic complexity and technical innovations introduced by Coltrane. On the other hand, few have. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nModal Masterpiece, May 10, 2005\nReviewer: Christopher Calabrese (Watertown, CT, USA) \nEasily one of the best Trane cd's...and greatest jazz recordings of the 20th century. At this point in his career, Trane was moving away from his 'sheets of sound' years where he would spend hours before a set, working out harmonies from the chord changes to come up with the 'perfect solo'. With the help of working with Miles Davis on KIND OF BLUE, Trane was shown the light in using modes in his recordings. \n\nWhile 'Giant Steps' isn't as musically free as 'A Love Supreme' or 'Interstellar Space' it is still technically efficient as far as its place within a more structured jazz model. My favorite tracks are the hard swinging 'Spiral' and 'Mr. P.C.', reminiscent of big-band Mingus recordings of the era. Other highlights are the two most popular songs - 'Cousin Mary' and 'Naima,' the latter of which is a tribute to his first wife. He also has another tribute to her after they split called 'Wise One' and can be found on the album CRESCENT. \n\nWhile any fan of good jazz would love this album, it's still a great introduction to those new to jazz. I believe this album is much more accessible than KIND OF BLUE, as it is much more upbeat - you want to dance or snap your fingers to it.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\n'Giant Steps' revisited - with a technical 'correction'..., April 30, 2004\nReviewer: T. F. Dean "Doctor Jazz" (Alpine, CA United States)\nMy purpose here is not to simply add more superlatives to this legendary album's justly proud reputation -- it's everything and more that has been written about it of a praiseworthy nature; and you'll find plenty of praise here in these reviews (see especially the insightful words from Samuel Chell). But there remains one rather 'technical', and curiously long-lived misconception about GIANT STEPS which, as a serious student of jazz and avid music collector, myself (I have virtually all of Coltrane's impressive recorded output), I have wanted to correct\nfor years -- a misunderstanding which, I hasten to add, in NO way diminishes the brilliance and stature of this pivotal milestone in Coltrane's prolific career. \nThe problem is this: over the years, repeated references (and you'll find some of them in these reviews) to this classic album's being the ultimate representation of Coltrane's famous\n'sheets of sound' phase, or technique, are simply mistaken. The so-called 'sheets of sound' effect that so startled early Coltrane audiences, in fact, emerged in his late '50s albums for Prestige -- not yet fully developed in the '56-'57 sides with the early Miles Davis Quintet (not even on that groundbreaking group's final recording, Miles' first for Columbia, 'ROUND ABOUT MIDNIGHT); but very well documented, even dominating, in Coltrane's prolific late '57-'58 period on Prestige, where the best examples of his 'sheets of sound' are to be found.\n\nTechnically, 'Trane's much-touted 'sheets of sound' amounted to his simply (!) shifting into a 'higher gear', at slow-to-medium-fast tempos -- essentially, playing more 16th-notes (i.e., 4 notes to every beat), instead of relying on the more typical\n'8th-note orientation' (i.e., 2 notes to each beat) of most modern jazz solos from early be-bop onward. His solos during this period often used this technique to the point of letting those rapid-fire, 16th-note runs dominate his playing -- thus giving rise to the description, 'sheets of sound', or, sometimes, the more pejorative (and unjust) charge from critics of his just 'running scales'. Upon even cursory examination, Coltrane's solos on GIANT STEPS, on the contrary -- despite the prevalence of furious TEMPOS (which should not be confused with how many notes PER BEAT are being played!) actually do NOT contain a preponderance of the notorious 16th-note passages. In fact, the relatively spare use of his well-established, '4-to-the-beat' phrases on this 1960 classic might be viewed as one of the more remarkable aspects of this landmark entry in the great Coltrane legacy. His wonderfully agile, complex, and justly famous solos on such pieces as the title track, and even the demonically paced 'Countdown', in fact, consist of predominantly 8th notes; and, while the fast tempos, themselves, of course, may dictate a rapid torrent of notes, they still remain 'only' \n2 to the beat -- not the daunting 4 per beat that define the 'sheets of sound' effect. While it may be suuggested that the generally fast tempos on GIANT STEPS are largely responsible for the relative absence of 16th-note runs throughout the album (as a practical 'impossibility', even for Coltrane!), it also is true that even the more moderately paced pieces -- normally more conducive to 'sheets of sound' flights -- are relatively free of that effect, compared to Coltrane's earlier work on Prestige.\n\nAt this album's date, the intense, multi-noted, and profoundly influential explorations that would largely define Coltrane's approach, even to the end, were yet to be applied in still other musical contexts, as this jazz giant's expansive music evolved from the 'interim' Atlantic years into the final, long Impulse! period of cutting-edge experimentation. The initial 'shock' of those earlier 'sheets of sound' would dissipate, and seem 'tame' by comparison -- or just 'inevitable' building blocks in the larger scheme of things ... and the legend would only grow.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nColtrane is Unreal on this recording, December 4, 2000\nReviewer: A music fan\nWhy then do I give this review only 4 stars? First of all, for a recording made in 1959, a historical recording might I add, the sound quality isn't very good. Atlantic records really needs to release a remastered version of this album, or are they considering this the remastered version? Anyway the overall sharpness of sound is fair (unlike Sony's remasters which, through a decent pair of speakers, sounds like the band could be playing in your room). The sound of the piano is horrble, it becomes distorted in many parts of its solos, and its volume level is far to low compared to the sax and bass. The second reason I gave the album 4 stars instead of five is because Tommy Flannagan's Piano solos aren't all that interesting. They almost sound like they're there to fill up space, just to give the listener a breather after Coltrane's incredible solos, except in Syeeda's Song Flute. That is a fine solo indeed. Wynton Kelly plays the keys on Naima, and his solos never dissapoint. His solo on Naima is beautiful, colorful, and dreamy. Other than that, this album smokes from beginning to end. One wonders if Coltrane was actually human. His solos are just unbelieveable. I could only imagine listening to this on Vinyl when it was originally released. I'm sure after the final notes of Mr. P.C. ended someone had to snap the listener back into consciousness. Intense indeed.\n\nHalf.com Details \nContributing artists: Art Taylor, Cedar Walton, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers, Tommy Flanagan Trio, Wynton Kelly \nProducer: Nesuhi Ertegun \n\nAlbum Notes\nThe 1998 reissue of GIANT STEPS contains all the original tracks and liner notes plus additional tracks and rare photos.\nPersonnel: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Tommy Flanagan, Wynton Kelly, Cedar Walton (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Taylor, Lex Humphries, Jimmy Cobb (drums).\nProducer: Nesuhi Ertegun.\nReissue producer: Bob Carlton, Patrick Milligan.\nRecorded at Atlantic Studios, New York, New York on April 1, May 4 and December 2, 1959. \nIncludes liner notes by Nat Hentoff.\nDigitally remastered by Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch (DigiPrep).\n\nJohn Coltrane's maiden voyage for Atlantic Records was the fulfillment of all the potential he'd demonstrated with Miles, Monk and on his own Prestige recordings. Recorded in May 1959 (one month after completing Davis' KIND OF BLUE), GIANT STEPS is Coltrane's first recital to feature nothing but his own original compositions, and is the culmination of his obsessive foray into harmony. By taking all of the notes in a chord--and trying to find every possible inversion and relevant substitution--the saxophonist was forced to develop a complex new form of melodic phrasing that enabled him to rhythmically crowd every permutation into a single phrase.\nThe effect is not only technically impressive, but an emotional marvel as well. On equestrian events such as the up-tempo title tune and "Countdown," Coltrane blazes through the changes with a torrential effusion of ideas, each phrase connected to the next with unerring logic and a sublime sense of symmetry. Every note in the lower, middle and upper register of his horn is articulated with power, precision and a variety of expressive timbres. His manipulation of overtones and multiphonics imparts a hair-raising vocal immediacy to his cry, and each solo culminates in a stirring emotional catharsis. This is bebop to the tenth power.\nBut the joy of Coltrane's art is not predicated on its intellectual dexterity. The charming stop-time cadences of "Syeeda's Song Flute" depict an upbeat, child-like disposition, inspiring a particularly celebratory Coltrane solo. The vamping figures of "Cousin Mary" and "Mr. P.C." lead to solos permeated with blues fervor. And of course, there's "Naima" (written for John's first wife), one of the saxophonist's tenderest, most enduring themes, with a melody that floats above Tommy Flanagan's serene chordal colors like a solitary cloud at dusk.\n\nIndustry Reviews\n5 Stars - Excellent - ...[Coltrane] has managed to combine all the swing of Pres with the virility of Hawkins and added to it a highly individual, personal sound as well as a complex and logical, and therefore fascinating, mind...tag this LP as one of the important ones...\nDown Beat (01/01/1960)\n\n...essential for all serious jazz collections....The culmination of 'Trane's sheets-of-sound period...GIANT STEPS brought the chordal improvising of bebop to its breaking point...\nJazzTimes (11/01/1994)
This jazz cd contains 7 tracks and runs 37min 36sec.
Freedb: 6a08ce07


: Music



  1. John Coltrane - Giant Steps (04:47)
  2. John Coltrane - Cousin Mary (05:49)
  3. John Coltrane - Countdown (02:25)
  4. John Coltrane - Spiral (06:02)
  5. John Coltrane - Syeeda's Song Flute (07:05)
  6. John Coltrane - Naima (04:25)
  7. John Coltrane - Mr P.C. (06:57)

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