CD Review: John Coltrane

John Coltrane
The Impulse! Albums Vol. 2 (John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (1963), Impressions (1963), Live at Birdland (1963), Crescent (1964), A Love Supreme (1964)
By David Chiu

There is no arguing with the classic selections on this second volume of this multi-disc set of John Coltrane’s work from his early to mid ‘60s Impulse! albums. It spotlights the musical evolution of the legendary saxophonist going from traditional romantic standards (John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman from 1963), through ambitious music (1963’s Impressions), to something truly masterful ( A Love Supreme from 1964). Backed by the legendary musicians of drummer Elvin Jones, bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner, Coltrane infused both passion and ferocity in his sax playing whether it’s on a ballad or a long form work. No bonus tracks or new sleeve notes are on this set—it contains the albums in their original form. For even casual fans of Trane, this set is essential.

Watch the great John Coltrane Quartet perform “Alabama”:


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