Friday, February 13, 2015

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Charlie Parker Plays Cole Porter

The "Songbook" concept in jazz has become a well known approach that has produced many classic albums of the genre. A cohesive theme is established troughout an LP by including a number of songs (or sometimes comprehensive anthologies) by one specific composer (or team of composers), such as George Gershwin, Lorenz & Hart, and Cole Porter. Jazz entrepreneur Norman Granz was one of the very first to put this concept on the market, and was certainly the one who made it popular and even a standard practice to be followed by other producers and musicians. His numerous Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald LPs devoted to songwriters are now justly considered classics
However, in 1954, Granz had attempted to make Charlie Parker record a songbook devoted to Cole Porter. Despite what the original liner notes state, it was almost certainly Granz's idea and not Parker's. Two sessions took place on March 31, 1954 and December 10, 1954. Why two sessions connected with the same project were recorded so far apart from one another can only be attributed to Bird's troubled life during the last year of his life (his health rapidly declined due to drug and alcohol abuse, and his fragile stability crumbled when his daughter Pree suddenly died, leading him to attempt suicide). It is likely that at least one more session had been planned by Granz to complete the normal length of the still novel 12" long plays. However, it would never take place as Bird died on March 12, 1955 at the age of 34. With the remaining recordings (the December 10 session was in fact Bird's final recording date ever, either live or in the studio), Granz released the LP presented here.
Anton Grover, 2012, from the booklet

Charlie Parker
Plays
Cole Porter

Tracks

1 I Get a Kick Out of You  3:34
2 I Get a Kick Out of You [alt.take]  4:56
3 Just one of Those Things  2:45
4 My Heart Belongs to Daddy  3:20
5 I've Got You Under My Skin  3:39
6 Love for Sale  5:35
7 Love for Sale [alt.take]  5:32
8 I Love Paris  5:07
9 I Love Paris [alt.take]  5:06
10 Easy to Love  3:29
11 Begin the Beguine  3:13
12 Night and Day  2:50
13 What is This Thing Called Love ?  2:36
14 In the Still of the Night  3:22
15 What is This Thing Called Love ? [Jam Session]  15:51
16 Love for Sale [alt. take # 2]  5:47

All Compositions by Cole Porter

*

Personnel
[# 1-5]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Jerome Darr - g
Teddy Kotick - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 31, 1954
[# 6-9 & 16]
Same as above, except
Billy Bauer - g, replaces Darr
Art Taylor - dr, replaces Haynes
Recorded in New York ; December 10, 1954
[# 10]
Charlie Parker - as
Joseph Singer - flghr
Edwin C. Brown - ob
Bernie Leighton - p
Sam Caplan, Howard Kay, Harry Melnikoff, Sam Rand, Ziggy Smirnoff - vl
Isadore Zir - vla
Maurice Brown - cll
Verney Mills - hrp
Ray Brown - b
Buddy Rich - dr
Recorded in New York ; July 5, 1950
[# 11]
Charlie Parker - as
Walter Bishop, Jr. - p
Teddy Kotick - b
Max Roach - dr
Luis Miranda - cng
Joe Mangual - bng
Recorded in New York ; January 23, 1952
[#12 & 13]
Charlie Parker - as
Jimmy Maxwell, Carl Poole, Al Porcino, Bernie Privin - tp
Bill Harris, Lou McGarity, Bart Varsalona - tb
Harry Terrill, Murray Williams - as
Flip Phillips, Hank Ross - ts
Danny Bank - bs
Oscar Peterson - p
Freddie Green - g
Ray Brown - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded in New York ; March 25, 1952
[# 14]
Charlie Parker - as
Junior Collins - flghrn
Al Block - fl
Hal McKusick - cl
Tom Mace - ob
Mannie Thaler - bssn
Tony Aless - p
Charles Mingus - b
Max Roach - dr
Dave Lambert Singers - vcl, including
Annie Ross
Gil Evans - arr & cond.
Recorded in New York ; May 25, 1953
[# 15]
Charlie Parker - as
Charlie Shavers - tp
Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter - as
Flip Phillips, Ben Webster - ts
Oscar Peterson- p
Barney Kessel- g
Ray Brown - b
J.C. Heard - dr
Recorded in Hollywood, California ; June 17, 1952

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Way Out Wardell Gray

This album was recorded live in Los Angeles in 1948, and finds the great Wardell Gray amidst some of the finest musicians of the time. In the late 1940s, the West Coast jazz scene introduced the big band jazz concert idea to the public. At this time in his short career, Gray was starting his ascent and would achieve lasting fame in tenor sax history. The recorded sound on the album is tinny, given that it was recorded in a hall, and the echo is distracting. However, the compact disc cleaned much of this up, and the dueling between the two tenors shines right through. Vido Musso, the other fine tenor here, was with Stan Kenton for a time. His punchy style plays off the smoother swing of Gray. There's also some strong, bright soloing by Howard McGhee, Ernie Royal, Barney Kessel, and Red Callender. The rhythm section swings hard throughout the session, and Gray knows how to ride the wave with a vengeance. He had that effortless tone of Lester Young, and was full with the fire of bop at the same time. His improvisation was prodigious, and he could translate a landslide of ideas through his horn. The genius Erroll Garner, then only 35, renders a fine solo version of "Tenderly." The compact disc version adds the bonus cut "Sweet Georgia Brown." This is what ignited jazz at the summit sounded like in concert in the late 1940s. Recommended.
Mark Romano

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/way-out-wardell-mw0000234851 

Wardell Gray
Way Out Wardell

Tracks

1 Blue Lou (Mills, Sampson)  6:12
2 Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie, Casey, Pinkard)  10:31
3 Tenderly (Gross, Lawrence)  3:04
4 Just You, Just Me (Greer, Klages)  10:25
5 One O'Clock Jump (Basie)  11:29

*

Personnel
[# 1]
Wardell Gray - ts
Erroll Garner - p
Irving Ashby - g
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded at the Civic Auditorium, Pasadena ; April 29, 1947
 [# 5]
Same as above, except
Benny Carter - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vic Dickenson - tb
are added
Recorded same place and date as above
 [# 3]
Erroll Garner - p
Red Callender - b
Jackie Mills - dr
Recorded same place and date as above
[# 2 & 4]
Wardell Gray - ts
Howard McGhee - tp
Vido Musso - ts
Barney Kessel - g
Arnold Ross - p
Harold Babasin - b
Don Lamond - dr
Recorded at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles ; February 27, 1947

See also
http://wardellgray.org/discography.html

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bud Shank - Cool Fool

In 1954 and 1955, Bud Shank recorded two 10-inch albums for the Pacific Jazz label that teamed him with valve trombones. The LPs were Bud Shank and Three Trombones and Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer. These recordings remain potent early examples of West Coast optimism, technical prowess and a sound that still raises hairs. What you hear in these artists is a hunger and excitement for the new music as well as swinging personal ambition. After all, the West Coast studio scene in the mid-1950s was a club, and all of the players on these albums were members of the highest order.
The teaming of Bud's alto saxophone with valve trombonists was a brilliant concept. The horns on these dates were big band veterans, highly proficient readers of arrangements, and powerful, soulful soloists. Most of all, the sound of Bud's yearning alto and the warm, pecking of an insinuating valve trombone worked perfectly to produce a cool, elastic heat.
On Bud Shank with Three Trombones, Bud was paired with Bob Enevoldsen, Maynard Ferguson and Stu Williamson. The rhythm section featured Claude Williamson on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums. The sextet's arrangements were written by Bob Cooper, whose Wailing Vessel is one of the album's most beautiful tunes.
Here you have Bud working with the trombones the way a sheep dog corrals its heard. On the arrangements, Bud circles, pushes, joins the pack and springs away. There's enormous independence in his phrasing even when pressed into the collective mix. The other standout tune on the album is Baby's Birthday Party, an obscurity written by Ann Ronnell, composer of Willow Weep for Me. But the album's song titles are almost irrelevant. In Bob Cooper's hands, the tunes all become something new with their interludes, tasty backgrounds and beautifully voiced harmonies.
Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer has a slightly different sound. Bob at the time was just coming into his own and was the hottest new valve trombonist on the scene. Supporting Bud and Bob were Claude Williamson on piano, Joe Mondragon on bass and Larry Bunker on drums. What makes this session particularly interesting is the string quartet that joined them (two violins, a viola and cello). Arrangements were by Russ Garcia, whose swinging tone-row writing and complex figures could only be mastered by exceptional, hip players. For example, dig Russ' innovative writing and the horns' rip-roaring treatment of There's a Small Hotel.
On both albums, Bud's edgy melodic phrasing was framed by the mellow, tap-dancing roundness of valve trombones. The result is quite something. On the former record, you hear Bud's sound jumping around on top of a bed of trombones. On the latter, Bud and Bob get it on, letting you hear the jousting and joining soothed only slightly by peacemaker strings.
All of these artists were just emerging as individuals in 1954 and 1955, vying for work in the LP and movie studios of Hollywood. All would succeed, of course, and all would become household jazz names. Interestingly, in the infancy of West Coast small-group jazz, Bud and Bob were already shaking off the laid-back, cool-school sound becoming popular in Southern California and creating a new one that was neither West nor East but something in between.
Marc Myers, JazzWax

Source : http://www.jazzwax.com/2010/04/bud-shank-and-valve-trombones.html

Bud Shank
Cool Fool

Tracks

1 Wailing Vessel (Cooper)  2:42
2 Baby's Birthday (Party Ronell)  2:48
3 You Don't Know What Love Is (DePaul, Raye)  4:16
4 Sing Something Simple (Hupfield)  2:36
5 Valve Head (Shank)  3:11
6 Cool Fool (Cooper)  3:21
7 Little Girl Blue (Hart, Rodgers)  3:17
8 Mobile (Cooper)  2:45
9 Wailing Vessel [alt. take] (Cooper)  2:39
10 Low Life (Mandel)  3:55
11 When Your Lover Has Gone (Swan)  2:56
12 Out of This World (Arlen, Mercer)  3:14
13 There's a Small Hotel (Hart, Rodgers)  2:38
14 Rustic Hop (Brookmeyer)  4:11
15 You Are Too Beautiful (Hart, Rodgers)  4:00
16 With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair (Edwards, Lawrence)  5:07
17 Low Life [alt. take] (Mandel)  3:54


*

Personnel
[# 1-9] Bud Shank and Three Trombones (Pacific Jazz 10" LP 14) ; the alt. take of "Wailing Vessel" was originally issued on Jazz West Coast (Pacific Jazz JWX 500)
Bud Shank - as
Bob Enevoldsen - tb
Maynard Ferguson - tb
Stu Williamson - tb
Claude Williamson - p
Joe Mondragon - b
Shelly Manne - dr
Bob Cooper - arr.
Recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles ; April 3 [# 4, 6-8] ; & June 22, 1954 [# 1-3, 5 & 9]
[# 10-17] Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer (Pacific Jazz 10" LP 20) ; the alt. take of "Low Life" was originally issued on Jazz West Coast (Pacific Jazz JWX 500)
Bud Shank - as
Bob Brookmeyer - tb
Claude Williamson - p
Buddy Clarke - b
Larry Bunker - dr
String Quartet
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles ; November 29, 1954 [# 11-13 & 15] & January 7 [# 10, 14, 16 & 17], 1955.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jim Hall & Geoffrey Keezer - Free Association

Jim Hall / Geoffrey Keezer: Free Association, the latest ArtistShare release from veteran guitarist Jim Hall — paired with a relative newcomer, pianist Geoffrey Keezer — offers music in a pure state. The duo creates a timeless, genre-less sound, a combination of virtuosic beauty and fluid give-and-take combined with a deft use of space.
Jim Hall has collaborated on records with drummer Chico Hamilton, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, and tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, all legends. A legend himself now, the guitarist has also explored the duo setting with Bill Evans and George Shearing, and most recently with Enrico Pieranzuni on Duologues.
Much is made of of the sympatico generated by "working groups," a product of the familiarity that breeds a seamless flow. Though the working group title may not apply to Hall and Keezer, they have played together extensively, in recordings and engagements at the Village Vanguard and Birdland. Keezer also joined Hall for a European quartet tour last summer.
Like fully engaged and adroit conversationalists, Hall and Keezer listen and respond to each other, making a luminous sound that seems to transcend style and — especially in Hall's case — his instrument. Lost in the purity of the music, the piquant notes, and shimmering chords, one can lose track of the fact that it's a guitar coming at you from the speakers.
It's all a vibration of strings, electric and accoustic — the sweet percussive ring of Keezer's piano versus the sustain and expansive tang of Hall's guitar — done with an innovative, free-flowing eloquence.
Dan McClenaghan

Source : http://www.allaboutjazz.com/free-association-jim-hall-artistshare-review-by-dan-mcclenaghan.php

Jim Hall
Geoffrey Keezer
Free Association

Tracks

1 End the Beguine (Hall, Keezer)  6:23
2 Bebo No Aozoa (Sakamoto)  5:53
3 A Merry Chase (Hall, Keezer)  3:50
4 Free Association (Hall, Keezer)  4:36
5 Furnished Flats (Hall, Keezer)  5:01
6 Counter Transference (Hall, Keezer)  2:59
7 Ouagadoudou (Hall, Keezer)  7:42
8 October Song (Hall, Keezer)  2:36

*

Personnel
Jim Hall - g
Geoffrey Keezer - p

Recorded at the New School Performance Space, New York City ; June 13 & 14, 2005

Friday, July 11, 2014

Toshiko Akiyoshi - Her Trio, Her Quartet

Toshiko Akiyoshi was still rather new on the American jazz scene when she recorded Her Trio, Her Quartet for the Storyville label in the mid-'50s. On five of the eight selections, she leads a quartet with alto saxophonist Boots Mussilli, former Dave Brubeck sideman Wyatt Reuther on bass, and drummer Ed Thigpen. Akiyoshi is still heavily influenced by Bud Powell at this point in her career, though she is no mere mimic of the great bop pianist. She navigates J.J. Johnson's challenging "Kelo" with finesse, while offering a fresh treatment of "All the Things You Are" that omits the introductory tag added by Dizzy Gillespie which became mandatory for nearly all bop interpreters of the standard. She gallops through "I Remember April," with Mussilli sounding very modern and not like a typical Charlie Parker clone in that era.
For the trio numbers, she utilizes Oscar Pettiford and Roy Haynes. Oddly enough, her "Pea, Bee and Lee" is based upon the chord changes to "All the Things You Are," while "Thou Swell" is easily the most conservative arrangement of the session. The Japanese CD reissue released by Tokuma in 1997 sounds as if it was dubbed from an LP rather than the original masters, as surface noise is briefly audible in spots. These are strong performances by Toshiko Akiyoshi made long before she earned widespread fame, but even this import CD has lapsed from print, making it a rather difficult release to acquire in any format.
Ken Dryden

Source : http://www.allmusic.com/album/toshiko-akiyoshi-her-trio-her-quartet-mw0000901398

Toshiko Akiyoshi
Her Trio
Her Quartet

Tracks

1 Kelo (Johnson)  4:20
2 Salute to Shorty (Akiyoshi)  3:06
3 Pea, Bee and Lee (Akiyoshi)  3:15
4 Taking a Chance on Love (LaTouche, Fetter, Duke)  4:34
5 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein, Kern)  4:32
6 No Mon at All (Mann, Evans)  4:52
7 I'll Remember April (Raye, DePaul, Johnston)  5:30
8 Thou Swell (Rodgers, Hart)  4:55

*


Personnel
[# 1, 2, 4, 5 & 7] 
Boots Mussulli - as
Toshiko Akiyoshi - p
Wyatt Reuther - b
Edmund Thigpen - dr 
[# 3, 6 & 8] 
Toshiko Akiyoshi - p
Oscar Pettiford - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded in New York ; 1956

Joe Pass - Sounds of Synanon/Richard Holmes - After Hours

"I was part of a group of young musicians who were among the earliest supporters of a place called Synanon", wrote jazz journalist and musician Steven A. Cerra. "Founded in Santa Monica, California in 1958 by Chuck Dederich, Synanon was a residential treatment center that existed for the expressed purpose of helping drug and alcohol addicted musicians and other artists. Synanon was located in an old brick building situated a few yards from the beach and the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway. We would drive to it along Santa Monica Blvd. [no freeways, yet] bringing bags of used clothes, groceries and a few schimolies to donate to the musicians and artists in residence at Synanon. Sometimes we'd participate in jam sessions while we were visiting. One of Synanon's most famous 'graduates' was none other than jazz guitarist Joe Pass who was just concluding his residence there during my initial visits. Like so many of his contemporaries from the jazz world of the 1940s and '50s, Joe had gotten lost in the 'world' of heroin addiction. Fortunatly, for all jazz fans, Joe found his way again, and a big "Thank You" is owed to Chuck Dederich and the folks at Synanon for saving his life and to Richard Bock of Pacific Jazz records for help in re-lauching Joe's career. Dick Bock's first association with Joe dated back to the Pacific Jazz recording The Sounds of Synanon. He recruited John Tynan to write the liner notes for the album. At the time, John was the West Coast editor of Down Beat magazine."
Joe Pass would never record again with any of the other musicians from the Synanon LP, none of whom, apart Arnold Ross, would continue recording regulary. In fact, this album is the only recorded testimony of the playing of drummer Bill Crawford, conga player Candy Latson, trumpeter Dave Allan, bassist Ronald Clark, and baritone horn player Greg Dykes listed in discographies.
By the mid-1960s, Synanon had become an alternative community, attracting people with its emphasis on living a slef-examinated life, as aided by group truth-telling sessions that came to be known as the Church of Synanon in the 1970s, and disbanded permanently in 1989 due to many alleged criminal activities, including Federal tax-evasion problems with the Internal Revenue Service. Dederich died in 1997. 
As a bonus to this long out of print album, we present a complete trio session made by Joe Pass for Richard Bock shortly after, which finds him playing in the company of organist Richard "Groove" Holmes, and drummer Lawrence Marable (with whom the guitarist would never record again). Pass and Holmes would participate on two more sessions together, that same year, one issued under Holmes' name (Something Special, in a quintet format), and the other with singer and guitarist Bumble Bee Slim (aka Amos Easton) as the leader. Their next and final collaboration would be three sessions backing alto saxophonist Earl Bostic made for the King label in 1963 and 1964. 
Lawrence Steel (2014), from the booklet

Joe Pass
Sounds of Synanon

Tracks

1 C.E.D (Pass, Ross)  3:17
2 Aaron`S Song (Allan)  4:32
3 Stay Loose (Ross)  4:25
4 Projections (Dykes)  5:12
5 Hang Tough (Pass)  6:32
6 Self-Image (Allan)  9:09
7 Last Call For Coffee (Ross)  4:43
8 Sweatin' (Holmes)  4:37
9 Jeannine (Pearson)  2:58
10 Minor Surgery (Holmes)  4:15
11 This Here (Timmons)  4:10
12 It Might As Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  5:18
13 Moose The Mooche (Parker)  5:23
14 Groove`S Bag (Holmes)  6:46


*


Personnel
[# 1-7]
Joe Pass - g
Dave Allan - tp
Greg Dykes - bs
Arnold Ross - p
Ronald Clark - b
Bill Crawford - dr
Candy Latson - bng
Recorded at Pacific Jazz Studios, Los Angeles ; July 1, 1962
[# 8-14]
Joe Pass - g
Richard "Groove" Holmes - org
Lawrence Marable - dr
Recorded same place as above ; 1962

Monday, July 7, 2014

Charlie Parker At Storyville & At the Hi-Hat

Rare work by Charlie Parker, recorded at Storyville Nightclub in Boston in 1953 – originally broadcast on radio station WHDH, and featuring Bird in a more open, relaxed style than his studio sessions. The recording quality is a bit dated, but the quality of the playing isn't – with extremely fresh solo work by Parker, and great supporting work by players that include Herb Pomeroy, Red Garland, Roy Haynes, etc.
© 1996-2014, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Source : http://www.dustygroove.com/item/469133/Charlie-Parker:Charlie-Parker-At-Storyville

The truism about jazz performers who predate the LP is that even live or on radio broadcasts, they rarely exceeded the three-and-half minute mark, so bound were their sensibilities by the recording limitations of the 78. So it comes as an illuminating pleasure to have this Parker recording, a collection of live broadcasts from Boston's Hi-Hat club recorded in late 1953 and early 1954 with a group of Boston sidemen. Bird blows through a handful of familiar tunes, mostly standards he helped to create, and between stretching out himself and being generous with the band, most cuts clock in between six and eight minutes. Just as wonderful is the fact that the sound quality is better than a lot of reissued Parker. Unlike, say, some of the Savoy/Denon cds, Live at the Hi-Hat isn't just for people who will cling to any available scrap of Bird's alto ; the fidelity is decent (although it does fade or cut out now and then), with piano, bass and drums coming through quite clearly (you can even hear the bass solo on "Ornithology"!). Note : Symphony Sid's introductions and announcements from the original broadcast are included as well.
© 1996-2014, Dusty Groove, Inc.

Source : http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1109377style=musicfulldesc=T

Charlie Parker
At Storyville
At the Hi-Hat

 Tracks

Cd. 1

1 Moose the Mooche (Parker)  5:05
2 I'll Walk Alone (Styne, Cahn)  4:53
3 Ornithology (Parker, Harris)  4:23
4 Out of Nowhere (Green, Heyman)  4:34
5 Now's the Time (Parker)  4:11
6 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh)  4:58
7 Dancing on the Ceiling (Rodgers, hart)  2:29
8 Cool Blues (Parker)  4:44
9 Groovin' High (Gillespie)  5:04

*


Cd. 2

1 Now's The Time (Parker)  7:33
2 Ornithology [1] (Parker, Harris)  8:08
3 My Little Suede Shoes [1] (Parker)  7:44
4 Groovin' High (Gillespie)  6:08
5 Cheryl (Parker, Harris)  4:55
6 Ornithology [2] (Parker, Harris)  7:42
7 Cool Blues (Parker)  6:26
8 My Little Suede Shoes [2] (Parker)  5:57
9 Interview & Announcement (1]  1:02
10 Ornithology [3] (Parker, Harris)  7:54
11 Interview & Announcement [2]  1:13
12 Out  of Nowhere (Green, Heyman)  4:27
13 Jumpin' With Symphony Sid (Young)  2:36

*


Personnel
[Cd. 1, # 1-4]
Charlie Parker - as
Red Garland - p
Billy Griggs - b
Roy Haynes - dr
Recorded at Storyville, Boston ; March 10, 1953
[Cd. 1,# 5-9]
Charlie Parker - as
Herb Pomeroy - tp
Sir Charles Thompson - p
Jimmy Woode - b
Kenny Clarke - dr
Recorded at Storyville, Boston ; September 22, 1953
[Cd. 2]
Charlie Parker - as
Herbie Williams  - tp
Rollins Griffith - p
Jimmy Woode - b
Marquis Foster - dr
Symphony Sid Torin - ann
Recorded live at The Hi-Hat, Boston, Massachusetts ; December 18 & 20, 1953 ; & January 24, 1954

See also
http://www.jazzdisco.org/charlie-parker/catalog/
&
http://www.plosin.com/MilesAhead/BirdSessions.aspx?s=531219

Sunday, July 6, 2014

John Coltrane - The Heavyweight Champion

There is no timeframe around the music of John Coltrane. Okay, it was created during a period of 25 years, between 1942 and mid-1967, and the music in this 7-CD boxed set of John Coltrane's complete recorded output for Atlantic Records was all cut very specifically during the two years between 1959 and 1961. But Trane's music is timeless, for the ages, and it'll sound just as good 200 years from today as it did the day it was recorded.
So there's no hurry to get this box in your home. Save your money, wait and pray, and when you do enter the musical world delineated on these discs, something utterly wonderful will be there waiting for you, just as it's been sitting there waiting almost 35 years to be collected, collated and presented in strict chronological order like this.
John Coltrane's Atlantic recordings saw the light of day in somewhat different order. After spending the previous three years making every possible kind of session for Prestige, Blue Note, Bethlehem, Savoy, Jubilee and other small labels (his recordings for Prestige alone run to more than 18 compact discs), Trane determined upon signing an exclusive contract with Atlantic at the beginning of 1959 to take full control of his music, strike out on his own as a bandleader and present a series of albums of his original works as coherent statements of intent and execution.
The first, released in January 1960, was called Giant Steps and featured Trane with Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers and Arthur Taylor in a carefully tailored program of new Coltrane compositions: "Giant Steps," "Cousin Mary," "Countdown," "Spiral," "Syeeda's Song Flute," "Mr. P.C." and "Naima," a gorgeous ballad that utilized the Miles Davis rhythm section of Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb.
Giant Steps followed closely upon the release of Miles Davis's monumental album, Kind of Blue, recorded for Columbia Records in 1959, which had established Coltrane as the pre-eminent tenor saxophonist of his generation. Cloaked in a striking red and white cover, Giant Steps cooked from beginning to end, thrusting Trane's gigantic sound, indefatigable drive and compositional genius even further into the forefront of modern music.
While listeners in 1960 were struck by the exceptional power and coherence of Coltrane's statement on the Giant Steps album, the posthumous release of the Alternate Takes album in 1975 revealed the full extent of his preparations for recording his first Atlantic disc.
The first quartet he assembled, with Cedar Walton on piano, bassist Paul Chambers and Lex Humphries on drums, cut a session on March 26, 1959 which Coltrane completely rejected. He regrouped with Flanagan, Chambers and Taylor for the May 4-5, 1959 sessions that resulted in the Giant Steps album, and even then there were two completed takes each of "Countdown," "Syeeda's Song Flute" and "Cousin Mary." This meticulousness of preparation was to characterize his ground-breaking work with Atlantic and paid off beautifully at each session.
Coltrane struck next with a brilliant set called Coltrane Jazz, seven more musical gems recorded with the Miles Davis rhythm section and a single selection, "Village Blues," which introduced his 1960 quartet with McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis and Elvin Jones.
Coltrane Jazz is one of Trane's finest pre-Impulse albums with its lilting swing, precision of statement and great originals like "Some Other Blues," "Like Sonny," "Fifth House" and "Harmonique." The obscure pop tunes — "Little Old Lady," the gorgeously played "I'll Wait and Pray," and Trane's lusty reading of "My Shining Hour" — only enhance the handsome program of Coltrane compositions.
But it was "Village Blues" that turned people's heads early in 1961 when Coltrane Jazz was released. Here was something completely fresh and new from the well-established tenor saxophonist : a wholly distinctive rhythm section sound with the leader featured on top of a slow droning blues limned by Tyner's chording piano and underlined by the stark, complex polyrhythms of Elvin Jones.
Unknown to contemporary listeners, the new approach glimpsed on "Village Blues" had already come and gone in the studios of Atlantic Records. Recorded at three mammoth sessions cut between October 21-26, 1960, which produced nineteen masters13 Coltrane originals and six radical reworkings of pop tunesand eventually filled three entire Atlantic albums, the music of the Coltrane-Tyner-Steve Davis-Elvin Jones quartet served basically as a transitional vehicle which would take Trane to the next level of his development as a soloist, bandleader and recording artist.
Indeed, by the time he cut his final session for Atlantic in May 1961, Coltrane was featuring his new musical partner, Eric Dolphy, in a program of long Moorish- and West African-inspired modal works ("Ole," "Dahomey Dance"), and working with Dolphy and Tyner in preparing orchestral arrangements of recent compositions for his first Impulse Records date, issued as Africa/Brass.
But it was the first full release by the new John Coltrane Quartet, an album titled My Favorite Things, that etched a new template for post-modern jazz and propelled Trane into the hearts of the record-buying public. Released in March 1961, this collection of standards and show tunes — done up in hypnotic, trance-inducing fashion and driven by the amazing percussive artistry of Elvin Jone — captured the public imagination in a big way, eventually selling over a million copies.
Most stunning was Trane's long workout on the title track, a bit of Rodgers & Hammerstein fluff from...

John Coltrane
The Heavyweight Champion
The Complete Atlantic Recordings
(1959-1961)

Cd. 1

1 Stairway to the Stars (Malneck, Signorelli, Parish)  3:22
2 The Late Late Blues (Jackson)  9:36
3 Bags & Trane (Jackson)  7:26
4 Three Little Words (Ruby, Kalmar)  7:30
5 The Night We Called It a Day (Dennis, Adair)  4:22
6 Be-Bop (Gillespie)  8:01
7 Blues Legacy (Jackson)  9:04
8 Centerpiece (Edison, Tennyson)  7:09
9 Giant Steps [alt. version] (Coltrane)  3:44
10 Naima [alt. version] (Coltrane)  4:31
11 Like Sonny [alt. version] (Coltrane)  6:02

*


Cd. 2

1 Spiral (Coltrane)  5:59
2 Countdown (Coltrane)  2:24
3 Countdown [alt. take] (Coltrane)  4:34
4 Syeeda's Song Flute (Coltrane)  7:03
5 Syeeda's Song Flute [alt. take] (Coltrane)  7:07
6 Mr. P.C. (Coltrane)  6:59
7 Giant Steps (Coltrane)  4:46
8 Cousin Mary (Coltrane)  5:48
9 Cousin Mary [alt. take] (Coltrane)  5:47
10 I'll Wait and Pray (Valentine, Treadwell)  3:34
11 I'll Wait and Pray [alt. take] (Valentine, Treadwell)  3:28
12. Little Old Lady (Carmichael, Adams)  4:24

*


Cd. 3

1 Like Sonny (Coltrane)  5:55
2 Harmonique (Coltrane)  4:13
3 My Shining Hour (Marcer, Arlen)  4:52
4 Naima (Coltrane)  4:22
5 Some Other Blues (Coltrane)  5:36
6 Fifth House (Coltrane)  4:41
7 Cherryco (Cherry)  6:47
8 The Blessing (Coleman)  7:53
9 Focus on Sanity (Coleman)  12:13
10 The Invisible (Coleman)  4:12
11 Bemsha Swing (Monk, Best)  5:04

*


Cd. 4

1 Village Blues (Coltrane)  5:23
2 Village Blues [alt. take] (Coltrane)  6:17
3 My Favorite Things (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  13:44
4 Central Park West (Coltrane)  4:14
5 Mr. Syms (Coltrane)  5:22
6 Untitled Original (Exotica) (Coltrane)  5:22
7 Summertime (Heyward, Gershwin)  11:34
8 Body and Soul (Green, Sour, Heyman, Eyton)  5:38
9 Body and Soul [alt. take] (Green, Sour, Heyman, Eyton)  5:59
10 Mr. Knight (Coltrane)  7:31

*


Cd. 5
1 Blues to Elvin [alt. take] (Jones)  11:01
2 Blues to Elvin (Jones)  7:53
3 Mr. Day (Coltrane)  7:56
4 Blues to You [alt. take] (Coltrane)  5:35
5 Blues to You (Coltrane)  6:29
6 Blues to Bechet (Coltrane)  5:46
7 Satellite (Coltrane)  5:51
8 Everytime We Say Goodbye (Porter)  5:41
9 26-2 (Coltrane)  6:13
10 But Not for Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  9:34

*


Cd. 6

1 Liberia (Coltrane)  6:52
2 The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Bernier, Brainin)  6:51
3 Equinox (Coltrane)  8:35
4 Olé (Coltrane)  18:15
5 Dahomey Dance (Coltrane)  10:52
6 Aisha (Tyner)  7:39
7 Original Untitled Ballad (To Her Ladyship) (Frazier)  8:58

*


Cd. 7

1 Giant Steps [take 1 - inc.] (Coltrane)  4:44
2 Giant Steps [take 2 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:14
3 Giant Steps [take 3 - inc.] (Coltrane)  2:51
4 Giant Steps [take 4 - inc.] (Coltrane)  1:19
5 Giant Steps [take 5 - alt. take] (Coltrane)  3:40
6 Giant Steps [take 6 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:32
7 Giant Steps [take 7 - inc.] (Coltrane)  4:12
8 Naima [take 1 - inc.] (Coltrane)  3:20
9 Naima [take 2 - inc.] (Coltrane)  3:24
10. Naima [take 4 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:15
11. Naima [take 5 - alt. take] (Coltrane)  3:50
12 Naima [take 6 - alt. take] (Coltrane)  3:38
13 Like Sonny [rehearsal 1 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:09
14 Like Sonny [rehearsal 2 - inc.] (Coltrane)  1:32
15 Like Sonny [take 1 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:20
16 Like Sonny [take 2 - inc.] (Coltrane)  3:09
17 Like Sonny [take 3 - inc.] (Coltrane)  1:08
18 Like Sonny [take 4 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:07
19 Like Sonny [take 5 - alt. take] (Coltrane)  8:24
20 Like Sonny [take 6 - inc.] (Coltrane)  1:09
21 Giant Steps [take 3 - inc.] (Coltrane)  4:06
22 Giant Steps [take 6alt. take] (Coltrane)  4:54
23 Blues to Elvin [take 2 - false start] (Coltrane)  0:10
24 Blues to Elvin [take 3alt. take] (Coltrane)  5:02
25 Blues to You [take 2alt. take] (Coltrane)  5:30

*

Personnel
Featuring John Coltrane, Don Cherry, Milt Jackson, Percy Heath, Ed Blackwell, McCoy Tyner, Steve Davis, Elvin Jones, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, Charlie Haden, Cedar Walton, Lex Humphries, Tommy Flanagan, Art Taylor, Hank Jones, Connie Kay.

Recorded at Atlantic Studio and A&R Studios, New York City ; between January 15, 1959 and May 25, 1961

(See the complete artwork)

________
...The Sound of Music then associated with Mary Martin and the Broadway cast, on which Coltrane featured his newly-acquired soprano saxophone. No one who heard this record was untouched by its simplicity, grace and emotional depth, and it brought Coltrane to the attention of a much wider audience than he had hitherto enjoyedan audience which would sustain him and his bands through the last six turbulent years of his residency here on Earth.
My Favorite Things stayed on the turntables of America's jazz lovers throughout 1961, bringing endless pleasure with Trane's absolutely idiosyncratic readings of "Summertime," "But Not For Me," the lovely ballad "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" and the irresistible title tune.
But Coltrane had moved a long way in a very short time, and the contrast between the old Trane and the new was perfectly effected when Atlantic countered the Impulse release of Africa/Brass at the end of 1961 with a straight-ahead, post-bop-and-blues set featuring the saxophonist with vibraharpist Milt Jackson and an unabashedly conservative rhythm section of Hank Jones, Paul Chambers and the MJQ's Connie Kay, recorded at Trane's first session for Atlantic on January 15, 1959.
Africa/Brass took My Favorite Things and Coltrane's next Atlantic release, Ole' Coltrane, issued in February 1962, another giant step further down the road toward the utter freedom of expression and articulation of emotion he was then beginning to realize on-stage in the company of Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones.
Trane's powerful tenor playing on "Africa" and "Blues Minor," raging over a large, rumbling orchestra directed by Dolphy and Tyner, lifted the music to new heights of emotional expression and instrumental virtuosity, and his soprano saxophonics on the old English folk tune, "Greensleeves," firmly established the straight horn as something a whole generation of reed players would have to come to terms with.
Once Coltrane's Impulse records starting coming out — Africa/Brass, Live at the Village Vanguard, Coltrane and the rest — his remaining Atlantic releases served the same function as the Miles Davis Quintet's series of albums — Cookin', Relaxin', Workin' and Steamin' — issued by Prestige after Miles had gone on to Columbia Records in 1956 : they documented the immense artistic achievement of one of the greatest small jazz bands of all time as its members committed their current repertoire — literally, the state of their art — to recording tape over three long days in the studio.
The material recorded contemporaneously with the program of standards issued as My Favorite Things made up the next two Atlantic LPs. Coltrane Plays the Blues — released in July 1962, around the same time that Live at the Village Vanguard came out on Impulse — collected a series of blues performances by the quartet which took this basic African-American song form past the existing limits of musical abstraction, yet consistently filled it with as much feeling and fundamental compassion as a performance by Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters.
Coltrane's Sound, issued in June 1964, collects most of the rest of the masters from the October 1960 sessions, including the extremely urgent "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," Trane's re-casting of "Body and Soul" in his own image, and four stellar originals : "Liberia," "Central Park West," "Satellite" and "Equinox." While this music sounded hopelessly dated at the time of its release — it had to compete with the epochal Coltrane Live at Birdland, then just out on Impulse — it is immensely rewarding when heard in the actual context of its creation, as you may do by playing Discs 3, 4, 5, and 6 from the Atlantic box in successive order.
The last Atlantic album to come out before Trane's untimely demise in July 1967 shocked attentive Coltrane worshippers at the same time it filled in an overlooked sector of the map of the saxophonist's development. Titled The Avant-Garde : John Coltrane & Don Cherry, this April 1966 release presented Trane in the company of the Ornette Coleman band of July 1960, struggling alongside pocket trumpeter Don Cherry to make sense of some of Ornette's most brilliant early works : "Invisible," "The Blessing," "Focus on Sanity." Monk's "Bemsha Swing" is also on the program, plus Don Cherry's "Cherryco," and the rhythm section is Edward Blackwell with Charlie Haden or Percy Heath.
The Avant-Garde clearly illuminates the parameters of Coltrane's quest to make something newly and uniquely his own between the severe classicism of Giant Steps and Coltrane Jazz and the hyponotic intensity of My Favorite Things, Coltrane Plays the Blues, Coltrane's Sound and Ole' Coltrane.
Coltrane had already explored in depth the musical worlds of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, recorded with George Russell and Cecil Taylor, wood-shedded with Yusef Lateef and John Gilmore (of the Sun Ra Arkestra), studied African drumming with Olatunji and Indian ragas with Ravi Shankar (after whom he was to name his son), and now completed his investigations into outside sources with a full-scale immersion into the music of Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Edward Blackwell.
When he formed his master quartet and entered the Atlantic studios on October 21, 1960 to record "Village Blues" and "My Favorite Things," John Coltrane was finally ready to put his own ineradicable mark on the shape of jazz to come.
Well, it's all here in The Heavyweight Champion, a box of music that will bring its listeners countless hours of joy and enlightenment. The music is presented in exactly the order in which it was recorded, alternate takes as well as masters, and there's a stunning cloth-bound booklet of information, photographs and testimony to answer your every question about the Atlantic years of the great master saxophonist, composer and bandleader.
The previously issued material takes up six full CDs, and then there's a bonus disc of session chatter, outtakes and alternates that will put you straight in the studio with John Coltrane and his band as they perfect their approach to such all-time classics as "Giant Steps," "Naima" and "Like Sonny."
Let us briefly express our appreciation to the late Nesuhi Ertegun, who produced the Atlantic sessions ; Joel Dorn, producer of this compilation ; Lewis Porter, who assisted in its production and contributed the superb set of booklet notes; and Patrick Milligan, for his fine discography of the Atlantic sessions and for pulling this incredible project together.
The Heavyweight Champion joins the Ornette Coleman box of complete Atlantic recordings as essential and much-needed documents of the development of the contemporary creative music known as jazz. And may we suggest, while you're at it : The Complete Atlantic Recordings of Charles Mingus. Oh yeah !
New Orleans, October 20, 1995 (c) 1995, 2006 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

Source : http://www.johnsinclair.us/writings/51-reviews/788-john-coltrane-the-heavyweight-champion-the-complete-atlantic-recordings.html