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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke


John Coltrane - tenor & soprano saxophones ; McCoy Tyner - piano ( except Disc Two, track 10) ; Jimmy Garrison - bass ; Elvin Jones - drums.
Recorded April, June and September 1962 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Produced by Bob Thiele, engineered by Rudy Van Gelder.
Impulse! Double C.D. 589 567-2


Disc 1 :
1. Out Of This World
2. Soul Eyes
3. The Inch Worm
4. Tunji
5. Miles' Mode
Disc 2 :
1. Not Yet
2. Miles' Mode
3. Tunji
4. Tunji
5. Tunji
6. Tunji
7. Impressions
8. Impressions
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.

Dick Stafford.

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