Ken Burns Jazz

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When John Coltrane began, his tone wasn't strong, his technical grasp was unsure, and he borrowed a lot from his early r&b influences. It took quite a while before he emerged as a mature man, let alone a mature musician. But in 1955 Coltrane joined Miles Davis's group, and then he apprenticed with Thelonious Monk. And, along with maturing musically, he experienced a great spiritual awakening. Coltrane's last decade or so saw him take one leap forward after another - mastering all his teachers' ideas and then moving to a level beyond that of any other saxophonist. For those journeys he formed his classic quartet, which eventually evolved into a completely different second group. The repertoire of each has had a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
When John Coltrane began, his tone wasn't strong, his technical grasp was unsure, and he borrowed a lot from his early r&b influences. It took quite a while before he emerged as a mature man, let alone a mature musician. But in 1955 Coltrane joined Miles Davis's group, and then he apprenticed with Thelonious Monk. And, along with maturing musically, he experienced a great spiritual awakening. Coltrane's last decade or so saw him take one leap forward after another - mastering all his teachers' ideas and then moving to a level beyond that of any other saxophonist. For those journeys he formed his classic quartet, which eventually evolved into a completely different second group. The repertoire of each has had a hold, spiritual as well as artistic, not just on musicians in all fields but on listeners in all walks of life.
All Music Guide - Steve Huey
In conjunction with the release of Ken Burns' ten-part, 19-hour epic PBS documentary Jazz, Columbia issued 22 single-disc compilations devoted to jazz's most significant artists, as well as a five-disc historical summary. Since the individual compilations attempt to present balanced overviews of each artist's career, tracks from multiple labels have thankfully been licensed where appropriate. The John Coltrane installment gives equal time to Coltrane's Atlantic and Impulse output. Tracks from the landmark masterpieces Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, and A Love Supreme among others help trace the progression of Coltrane's style, from the complex chords and fiery sheets-of-sound approach that marked his early Atlantic albums, to the more extended meditations on less complicated pieces, and through to the free, intensely spiritual feel of his later work. If there's a flaw in the collection, it's that only one track is taken from his post-A Love Supreme period, during which he leaned most heavily toward the avant-garde; thus, Ken Burns Jazz doesn't quite sum up Coltrane's impact on free jazz. But it does offer a concise snapshot of some of Coltrane's most important work, and since the compilation draws from multiple labels, it makes a great introduction to the various phases of his career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2000
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • UPC: 731454908320
  • Catalog Number: 549083
  • Sales rank: 46,464

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Coltrane Primary Artist
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