John Coltrane - Coltrane (1957)

Trane's first record as a bandleader, recorded while on a "break" from Miles' band (smack is bad for you?). incidentally, he was only paid $300 for this (about $2,300 in 2011 $s), just in case you thought there was ever a time when labels weren't predatory... anyways, it's clear that his time in Miles' group had an impact on Trane, as his economical statements of the head melodies are worlds away from the sheets of sound that are hallmarks of his later playing. the easy swing in his phrasings and the silky tone of his tenor ooze heartfelt sentimentality and emotional content, especially in the ballads. also of note is the rhythm section of Paul Chambers (also from Miles' quintet) and Albert Heath, who effortlessly lay down some tricksy grooves (like the hemiolas in the fiery opener, Bakai). if you're more keyed into stuff like Blue Train rather than Ascension, this is for you.

chronic blues
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