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John Coltrane|Blue Train: The Complete Masters

Blue Train: The Complete Masters

John Coltrane

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This 1958 album by John Coltrane—his sole outing as a leader on the Blue Note label—has long been held up as a cornerstone jazz release and, accordingly, been given multiple reissues over the years. This latest edition contains all the stereo master takes recorded by Coltrane and his group over their half week of sessions for the album as well as the first time digital release of the album in mono.  It is not hard to understand why Blue Train has long been an easy shorthand for "real jazz." The sessions clearly show the technical greatness that Coltrane was capable of as an instrumentalist; he was, at the time, working with Thelonious Monk and would soon rejoin Miles Davis' band, but, more importantly, he was clean and sober for the first time in a decade, and was absolutely playing at full, "sheets of sound" strength. However, Coltrane was also beginning to explore the unique compositional approach that he would so relentlessly expand over the next decade (one that would eventually evolve into pure, spiritual improvisation), and this was the first of his albums as a leader that would be primarily composed of original compositions. That the album was also released on Blue Note (and in an appropriately iconic sleeve, of course) certainly aided in Blue Train's myth-making, but it must be said: This is a fine album that is among Coltrane's better efforts, but it's best looked at as him closing the door on his formative years, rather than as a quintessential statement of the artist he would become.  Nonetheless, Coltrane does an amazing job at harnessing the youthful energy of a big, brassy sextet and leading them through a selection of four originals (one of which, "Lazy Bird," is a sly interpolation of Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird") and a songbook number ("I'm Old Fashioned"). The prodigiously talented group—Coltrane, along with Paul Chambers, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Drew, Philly Joe Jones, and Lee Morgan—is energetic and upbeat, taking a breather only for "I'm Old Fashioned," which they read less as a ballad and more of a bluesy slow-burn. While Chambers and Jones provide an unsurprisingly solid rhythmic foundation, the fiery melodicism of the triple-brass attack of Coltrane, Fuller, and Morgan interacting with Drew's piano is what gets and keeps your attention (the solo that Coltrane rips halfway through "Locomotion" is also among his most gleeful and fun). Within the next couple of years, Coltrane would earnestly engage in his philosophical and theoretical reshaping of jazz's possibilities, but on this epochal album, he was able to definitively close the book on his time as a hard bop gun-for-hire in a delightful way. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Blue Train: The Complete Masters

John Coltrane

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1
Blue Train (Remastered 2012)
00:10:42

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

2
Moment's Notice (Remastered 2012)
00:09:10

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Locomotion (Remastered 2012)
00:07:14

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

4
I'm Old Fashioned (Remastered 2012)
00:07:57

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Mercer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Kern, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

5
Lazy Bird (Remastered 2012)
00:07:08

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 Capitol Records, LLC

DISC 2

1
Blue Train (False Start)
00:00:22

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Cuscuna, Producer - Rudy Van Gelder, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

2
Blue Train (Take 7)
00:07:08

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Cuscuna, Producer - Rudy Van Gelder, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2013 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Moment's Notice (Alternate Take 4)
00:07:19

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2022 Capitol Records, LLC

4
Lazy Bird (Take 1)
00:09:21

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Cuscuna, Producer - Rudy Van Gelder, Mastering Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2015 Capitol Records, LLC

5
Blue Train (Alternate Take 8)
00:10:28

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2022 Capitol Records, LLC

6
Moment's Notice (Alternate Take 5A (Incomplete))
00:05:07

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2022 Capitol Records, LLC

7
Lazy Bird (Alternate Take 2)
00:07:28

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2022 Capitol Records, LLC

DISC 3

1
Blue Train (Mono Version)
00:10:40

John Coltrane, Composer, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1957 Capitol Records, LLC

2
Moment's Notice (Mono Version)
00:09:09

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1957 Capitol Records, LLC

3
Locomotion (Mono Version)
00:07:13

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1957 Capitol Records, LLC

4
I'm Old Fashioned (Mono Version)
00:07:57

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Mercer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Kern, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1957 Capitol Records, LLC

5
Lazy Bird (Mono Version)
00:07:06

John Coltrane, Tenor Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rudy Van Gelder, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alfred Lion, Producer - Paul Chambers, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lee Morgan, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Philly Joe Jones, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kenny Drew, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Curtis Fuller, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1957 Capitol Records, LLC

Album Description

This 1958 album by John Coltrane—his sole outing as a leader on the Blue Note label—has long been held up as a cornerstone jazz release and, accordingly, been given multiple reissues over the years. This latest edition contains all the stereo master takes recorded by Coltrane and his group over their half week of sessions for the album as well as the first time digital release of the album in mono.  It is not hard to understand why Blue Train has long been an easy shorthand for "real jazz." The sessions clearly show the technical greatness that Coltrane was capable of as an instrumentalist; he was, at the time, working with Thelonious Monk and would soon rejoin Miles Davis' band, but, more importantly, he was clean and sober for the first time in a decade, and was absolutely playing at full, "sheets of sound" strength. However, Coltrane was also beginning to explore the unique compositional approach that he would so relentlessly expand over the next decade (one that would eventually evolve into pure, spiritual improvisation), and this was the first of his albums as a leader that would be primarily composed of original compositions. That the album was also released on Blue Note (and in an appropriately iconic sleeve, of course) certainly aided in Blue Train's myth-making, but it must be said: This is a fine album that is among Coltrane's better efforts, but it's best looked at as him closing the door on his formative years, rather than as a quintessential statement of the artist he would become.  Nonetheless, Coltrane does an amazing job at harnessing the youthful energy of a big, brassy sextet and leading them through a selection of four originals (one of which, "Lazy Bird," is a sly interpolation of Tadd Dameron's "Lady Bird") and a songbook number ("I'm Old Fashioned"). The prodigiously talented group—Coltrane, along with Paul Chambers, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Drew, Philly Joe Jones, and Lee Morgan—is energetic and upbeat, taking a breather only for "I'm Old Fashioned," which they read less as a ballad and more of a bluesy slow-burn. While Chambers and Jones provide an unsurprisingly solid rhythmic foundation, the fiery melodicism of the triple-brass attack of Coltrane, Fuller, and Morgan interacting with Drew's piano is what gets and keeps your attention (the solo that Coltrane rips halfway through "Locomotion" is also among his most gleeful and fun). Within the next couple of years, Coltrane would earnestly engage in his philosophical and theoretical reshaping of jazz's possibilities, but on this epochal album, he was able to definitively close the book on his time as a hard bop gun-for-hire in a delightful way. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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