As part of its Originals series, the Verve Music Group has begun reissuing -- at a budget price -- the Impulse! recordings of John Coltrane in box set form, as well as single-disc titles. This first volume focuses on some seminal entries from 1961 and 1962. In chronological order they are Africa/Brass, Live at the Village Vanguard, Coltrane, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, and Ballads. Keep in mind that these are newly remastered -- yet again (and one suspects they are the Japanese remasters issued here for the first time) -- and present the albums as they originally appeared. In other words, if you bought The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions, this is a step back in material since there are no bonus tracks and it is the Africa/Brass album as it appeared in 1961. The same goes for Live at the Village Vanguard, which has already been treated to its own box set, and here is the CD version of the original LP. There are arguments both ways. The more critical view is that once you give someone something you can't take it away again (as Blue Note did with its Ultimate Blue Trane edition, which was pared back for its Rudy Van Gelder remaster). The other argument is purely economic: how many times do you need to purchase the same recording? There are no extra liners here or any kind of booklet, merely the albums as they appeared in a single budget-priced box with all the original liner notes. It's a tidy solution, and for those who did not purchase these recordings already, this is a great way to dig into the Coltrane legacy. For others it may be a head scratcher, or a budget buster. Addressing the latter quandary, the argument is simple: sound. These are the best-sounding reissues of these records listeners have ever gotten in the United States.