Coltrane '58: The Prestige Recordings

Album cover art for upc 888072072923
Label:
Catalog: CR00102
Format: COMPACT DISC

John Coltrane

COLTRANE ’58: THE PRESTIGE RECORDINGS BOX SETCAPTURES LEGENDARY SAXOPHONIST’S GENIUS IN FIRST FLOWER DURING HIS BREAKTHROUGH “SHEETS OF SOUND” YEAR2019 MARKS 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF PRESTIGE RECORDSThough it’s been 52 years since his tragic passing, John Coltrane’s importance and influence have never been greater. Though active for a relatively short period—from 1957 to ’67—he was an intrepid spirit who developed at a feverish pace. Coltrane’s breakout year, when his mature sound first grabbed ears and his own recordings began to sell consistently, was 1958. Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings is a box set (8-LP & 5-CD) that chronicles the exciting story session by session, featuring all 37 tracks Coltrane recorded as a leader or co-leader for the independent Prestige label in those twelve months. This collection captures him in creative high gear—developing the signature improvisational style that journalist Ira Gitler famously dubbed “sheets of sound.”The timely release of Coltrane ’58 marks the 70thyear since the founding of Prestige Records and comes just after the 60th anniversary of these recordings. It also follows on last year’s successful release of Both Directions at Once, which debuted at No. 21 on the Billboard 200, the highest chart position of his career.Coltrane ’58 brims with the shared jazz repertoire of the day—blues, bebop standards and familiar ballads—as well as original compositions and obscure tunes Coltrane rediscovered. Together they offer an array of emotional depth and instrumental prowess, showing how the rising saxophonist was actively stretching sound and increasing the intensity, and shifting the direction of what jazz performance was about. Included are definitive versions of “Lush Life,” “Lover Come Back to Me,” “Stardust,” “Good Bait” and “Little Melonae”; first recordings of originals like “Nakatini Serenade,” “The Believer,” “Black Pearls” and the heartfelt “Theme for Ernie”; and extended tenor saxophone tours-de-forcesuch as “Russian Lullaby,” “Sweet Sapphire Blues” and “I Want to Talk About You” that anticipate the stratospheric heights Coltrane would reach in the 1960s. In 1958 Coltrane was still two years away from emerging as a bandleader, but his membership in ensembles led by Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk had propelled him into the spotlight as one of jazz’s most exciting and controversial figures. Coltrane ’58serves as a window onto the shock and awe—and eventually deep appreciation—Coltrane generated during this period, when his sheets of sound approach pushed the bebop ideal of slaloming through a tune’s chordal pathways to its extreme.To be sure, Coltrane ’58 is more than sheets of sound: It’s the sound of Coltrane working and smoothing out those sheets and exploring other ideas as well.  For example, he frequently played in double-time—as if the chords were moving twice as fast as the rest of the band—and, if the music called for it, he’d decrease the intensity, caressing and embellishing a melody, an aspect that could calm the toughest critics.Produced by Nick Phillips, the vinyl box includes eight 180-gram LPs, remastered from the original analog tapes by Paul Blakemore (all of which were recorded by renowned engineer Rudy Van Gelder)and cut by Clint Holley from 24-bit/192kHz transfers. The lavish, linen-wrapped, portfolio-style book features an eye-catching design and includes 40 pages containing extensive liner notes by Grammy®-winning American music historian Ashley Kahn, rare ephemera and historical photographs of the saxophonist and his collaborators, including several taken by renowned jazz photographers Francis Wolffand Esmond Edwards. The 5-CD edition, containing a 76-page book, is a faithful replica of the 8-LP vinyl box.Coltrane ’58 reveals other significant aspects of Coltrane’s emergence, too, like his growing status in the hard bop brotherhood of the day. He recorded with contemporaries (many future legends in their own right), including pianist Red Garland; guitarist Kenny Burrell; trumpeters Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbardand Wilbur Harden; bassist Paul Chambe

Price: $89.99