Fearless Leader [Box Set]

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Before John Coltrane became the jazz icon that he remains to this day, he was still plenty great. The proof lies in the copious music that makes up Fearless Leader, representing all-star sessions that Coltrane led on the Prestige label, just a few years before he started his own band. The tenor saxophonist’s sound had come together by 1957 and only grew in power, invention, and solidity through the last of these recordings, which extend to the close of 1958. Roaring through up-tempo numbers or pouring his heart out on ballads, Coltrane was the complete saxophonist, and it's no wonder Miles Davis pulled him back into his band in 1958. With associates of the caliber of...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Before John Coltrane became the jazz icon that he remains to this day, he was still plenty great. The proof lies in the copious music that makes up Fearless Leader, representing all-star sessions that Coltrane led on the Prestige label, just a few years before he started his own band. The tenor saxophonist’s sound had come together by 1957 and only grew in power, invention, and solidity through the last of these recordings, which extend to the close of 1958. Roaring through up-tempo numbers or pouring his heart out on ballads, Coltrane was the complete saxophonist, and it's no wonder Miles Davis pulled him back into his band in 1958. With associates of the caliber of bassist Paul Chambers, pianist Red Garland, and trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Donald Byrd, Coltrane is in fast company, and his cohorts' sterling musicianship inspires him. The chronological order of the tracks is another plus, making sense of earlier, jumbled releases. If you love Trane, this set is a must-have.
All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
In the spring of 1957, when he signed with Bob Weinstock's Prestige Records, John Coltrane was still a relative newcomer to the national jazz scene. He wasn't, at age 30, a youngster by any means, and he had already been playing professionally for more than a dozen years, but most of that had been as a sideman and he was known primarily to insiders. Most recently, since 1955, he'd worked for Miles Davis, who had first recognized Coltrane's potential in the late '40s. Coltrane's blowing with Davis' quintet was often brilliant, sometimes spotty, promising overall, but the saxophonist's heroin habit was getting the better of him and Davis cut him loose a number of times before finally disbanding the group in 1957. Weinstock was well familiar with Coltrane's growing reputation and had used him as a sideman at the label. When he gave him a contract as a leader, he could not have known, of course, that he was setting off one of the most monumentally influential careers jazz would ever know. At Prestige, Coltrane, now cleaned up from drugs, was ridiculously prolific, taking part in some 27 sessions in all during 1957 and 1958, the entirety of which, 125 tracks, can be heard on the 16-disc box set The Prestige Recordings. This six-disc set seems almost minimal in comparison, eschewing Coltrane's sideman work at Prestige to concentrate on his role as frontman. But by focusing on Coltrane as an increasingly creative, at times explosive, groundbreaking force, this "compact" set is, in its own way, the more potent of the two. And Fearless Leader is an appropriate title: Coltrane was by nature unafraid to take chances, eager to dare himself and his musicians to go places jazz had yet to travel. He wasn't quite up to running speed yet at Prestige, but he was well on his way to figuring out that the possibilities were boundless. While some of the Prestige recordings might seem almost tame and mainstream in comparison to the music Coltrane would later cut for Atlantic and Impulse!, that's really only in retrospect: seen in the context of its time, the sessions that Coltrane cut at Prestige -- released originally on such albums as Coltrane, Traneing In, The Believer, Soultrane, and the stunning ballads/standards set Lush Life, on which Coltrane plays it relatively straight, displaying a debt to Charlie Parker that would dissipate as he proceeded to probe worlds Bird never dreamed of -- raised the bar higher than it had ever been at the time. As Fearless Leader is arranged by session and does not attempt to replicate the original albums' running orders, however, those earlier contexts cease to exist and listeners are left to experience the music as Coltrane -- working at Prestige mainly with such peers as pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, drummers Art Taylor and Louis Hayes, and trumpeters Donald Byrd and Freddie Hubbard -- cut it, chronologically. Whatever tentativeness he was still feeling early in the relationship slowly gives way, and by the end of Coltrane's tenure at the label, his signature aggressive probing is in full swing, notably on tracks such as "Bahia" and "Goldsboro Express," from his December 1958 session, and a breakneck "Lover Come Back to Me" from earlier that year. Although he was still capable of playing it straight and unadorned -- his blues and romantic ballads are uniformly moving and elegantly laid out -- and Coltrane's Prestige era was a transitional one to be sure, Fearless Leader makes clear that the roots of his genius were already firmly planted.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/26/2006
  • Label: Prestige
  • UPC: 888072300590
  • Catalog Number: 630059
  • Sales rank: 24,847

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Straight Street (6:19)
  2. 2 While My Lady Sleeps (4:44)
  3. 3 Chronic Blues (8:14)
  4. 4 Bakai (8:42)
  5. 5 Violets for Your Furs (6:17)
  6. 6 Time Was (7:29)
  7. 7 I Hear a Rhapsody (6:03)
  8. 8 Trane's Slo Blues (6:06)
  9. 9 Slowtrane (7:20)
  10. 10 Like Someone in Love (5:00)
  11. 11 I Love You (5:31)
Disc 2
  1. 1 You Leave Me Breathless (7:25)
  2. 2 Bass Blues (7:48)
  3. 3 Soft Lights and Sweet Music (4:44)
  4. 4 Traneing In (12:36)
  5. 5 Slow Dance (5:29)
  6. 6 Lush Life (14:03)
  7. 7 The Believer (13:50)
  8. 8 Nakatini Serenade (11:01)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Come Rain or Come Shine (8:47)
  2. 2 Lover (7:58)
  3. 3 Russian Lullaby (5:36)
  4. 4 Theme for Ernie (4:59)
  5. 5 You Say You Care (6:17)
  6. 6 Good Bait (12:10)
  7. 7 I Want to Talk About You (10:57)
  8. 8 Rise 'N Shine (7:16)
  9. 9 I See Your Face Before Me (9:56)
Disc 4
  1. 1 If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You (9:22)
  2. 2 Little Melonae (14:06)
  3. 3 By the Numbers (12:02)
  4. 4 Black Pearls (13:13)
  5. 5 Lover Come Back to Me (7:28)
  6. 6 Sweet Sapphire Blues (18:13)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Spring Is Here (6:56)
  2. 2 Invitation (10:23)
  3. 3 I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All (7:04)
  4. 4 Love Thy Neighbor (9:24)
  5. 5 Don't Take Your Love from Me (9:16)
  6. 6 Stardust (10:43)
  7. 7 My Ideal (7:36)
  8. 8 I'll Get By (8:09)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful? (5:14)
  2. 2 Then I'll Be Tired of You (9:30)
  3. 3 Something I Dreamed Last Night (10:51)
  4. 4 Bahia (6:17)
  5. 5 Goldsboro Express (4:46)
  6. 6 Time After Time (7:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Coltrane Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone
Red Garland Piano
Louis Hayes Drums
Art Taylor Drums
Mal Waldron Piano
Wilbur Harden Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jimmy Cobb Drums
Donald Byrd Trumpet
Albert "Tootie" Heath Drums
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet
Earl May Bass
Sahib Shihab Baritone Saxophone
Johnny Splawn Trumpet
Technical Credits
Sigmund Romberg Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Count Basie Composer
Tadd Dameron Composer
Billy Eckstine Composer
Alonzo Levister Composer
Cal Massey Composer
Vincent Youmans Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
McCoy Tyner Composer
Fred E. Ahlert Composer
Greg Allen Art Direction
Lew Brown Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
John Coltrane Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Howard Dietz Composer
Esmond Edwards Producer
Sammy Fain Composer
Rudy Van Gelder Engineer
Ira Gitler Original Liner Notes
Joe Goldberg Original Liner Notes
Mack Gordon Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Ray Henderson Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
Herbert Magidson Composer
Jackie McLean Composer
Johnny Mercer Composer
Dan Morgenstern Original Liner Notes
Cheryl Pawelski Producer, Liner Notes
Cole Porter Composer
Leo Robin Composer
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Jule Styne Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Bob Weinstock Composer, Audio Production
Jack Yellen Composer
Joe Tarantino Remastering
Jack Baker Composer
Patrick Milligan Producer, Liner Notes
Ary Barroso Composer
Bob Parent Cover Photo
Jack McKinney Original Liner Notes
Fred Lacey Composer
Lewis Porter Liner Notes
Tom Adair Composer
Richard A. Whiting Composer
Henry Nemo Composer
Harry Revel Composer
George Fragos Composer
Ralph Freed Composer
Frederick Hollander Composer
Gabriel Luna Composer
Newell Chase Composer
Dick Gasparre Composer
Richard S. Ginell Liner Notes
Miguel Prado Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Come On Now, We're Talking Bout COLTRANE!!!

    If you a serious listener of jazz music and you want to appreciate the history of how the John Coletrane came about then you need this set. I've been listening to this everyday since I got it. Soulful, passionate, and spiritual.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews