'Trane Arrives


The Definitive John Coltrane On Prestige And Riverside, part of Concord's new Definitive retrospective series, embarks with 'Trane's first Prestige session as part of The New Miles Davis Quintet (1955), concludes with the final date for his evocative Bahia (Prestige, 1958), and revisits his landmark recordings with others in between.

There's an amazing amount of history in just two CDs -- the breadth of styles and approaches that Coltrane managed to chew through and devour in just three years proves as mind-blowing as his playing. Three tunes with that "first great Miles quintet" include their milestone "'Round Midnight" and Coltrane's sleek skate across Sonny Rollins' "Oleo." Featured tracks with the adventurous Thelonious Monk include their roomy, drum-less trio wander through the funhouse mirrors of "Monk's Mood," and more rhythmically driving "Trinkle, Tinkle."

Kenny Burrell stands out as Coltrane's blues soul brother with tasty guitar chops on the ruminative "Why Was I Born?" and "Minor Mishap." Trane's tenor sweetly moans ballads like the title track from Lush Life, and "I Want To Talk About You" from the equally luxurious Soultrane (both Prestige, 1958). Conversely, "Lover, Come Back To Me" and "Russian Lullaby," not so much an invitation to your bed as much an invitation to set your bed on fire, demonstrate Coltrane's talent for transposing a ballad into scalding modern jazz.

Definitive Coltrane source material includes the simply titled Coltrane (his first date as a leader), Black Pearls, Settin' The Pace and Standard Coltrane, all newly minted in the RVG Remaster series.