The Very Best of John Coltrane, a wonderful collection which spans some of the halcyon years of the famed late saxophonist, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.
The works of John Coltrane, who cut his musical teeth with luminaries like Miles Davis before heading out on his own illustrious solo career, are at once exploratory, influential, endlessly stretching and creatively reaching and ultimately all highly recommended. Coltrane played his saxophone almost akin to an alchemist waving his wand, conjuring up sounds and an overall feel to the world of jazz which went to untold boundaries and broke them, conventions splintered, and ultimately, the listeners tranquilized and satisfied.
For sure, his music goes against the mainstream grain of what jazz music is supposed to sound like to a casual listener or a fan who has dipped their toe into this genre, but that’s not to say that the music of John Coltrane should alienate them either. It’s just that Coltrane’s music and his vast library of records, require a sort of self-assurance from the listener that ample attention will be paid. A lot of jazz music can effectively act as background music, but the works of John Coltrane are heavily in one’s foreground and thus, needs the listeners full intent to really get the full admiration and results he intended.
This collection spans his Impulse Records era, and covers the years 1961-1964, when Coltrane was on the precipice of recording music that became more and more “out there” so to speak as the years went on, fully framing and musically footprinting records that would become the very epitome of the word “free jazz,” which he powerfully performed right up until his untimely death in 1967.
On this collection, and it’s hard to encapsulate the man in a single collection, but this one does a great justice and respect in not only attempting to do so, but doing it quite nicely to boot, covers such memorable ground with songs like the full on bluesy delight on “Bessie’s Blues”; the possible magnum opus of not only his career, but possibly the entire mid-Century jazz era with the intensely magisterial “Afro Blue”; the cover songs “My Favorite Things,” recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival in which Coltrane and his band (most tracks have the stellar backup band of McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and the animalistic thunder in a bottle back beats of Elvin Jones) take the classic track made famous by Julie Andrews and take it to new heights, eventually creating an all-together track of breathless abandon; “In A Sentimental Mood,” in which the composer of that song, jazz monarch Duke Ellington, plays piano; “Alabama,” which sounds like thunderclaps from dark ominous clouds that rain teardrops; “Naima,” with the late great Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet; the first track from his seminal masterpiece “A Love Supreme,” which is regarded by some as Coltrane’s finest hour and all the rest, this is a celebration of music that are not only American classics, but firmly solidifying them as world classics within the genre as well.
The Very Best of John Coltrane is a collection full of powerhouse masterworks, by one of jazz’s if not all of music’s greatest showmen of all time. It’s absolutely essential to any jazz collection, and even more essential to those who are green and have never heard this music before. Ultimately, it is for them that the biggest sonic revelations of joy will unfold right before their very eyes and ears when they experience the music of the mighty mighty man with the horn, John Coltrane.
Browse all 100 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as those on sale for only $2.99 each. You can also find more deals as part of Amazon’s March Is Metal promotion.
1. A Love Supreme Part I: Acknowledgement
2. In A Sentimental Mood
3. Bessie’s Blues
6. Lush Life
10. My Favorite Things
Note – when you purchase MP3s through Amazon, it stores your purchases to Amazon’s Cloud Drive; from there you can stream the music right from their online player. Also, if you have a Kindle Fire, your MP3 purchases will automatically be available for you to stream on your device. All your purchases are backed up and available for you to download at any time. You can download the files to your computer to load to an MP3 device and to your iTunes account if you have one. If you’d like to gift these MP3 purchases, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album.