The Very Best of John Coltrane [Rhino]by John Coltrane
Released in 2000, The Very Best of John Coltrane is hardly the first best-of collection by the seminal saxophonist, and you can bet certain that it won't be the last. Focusing on 'Trane's influential Atlantic output of the late '50s and early '60s, this CD shouldn't be confused with previous Best of John Coltrane collections from Pablo/Fantasy (Pablo 2405-417) or Atlantic (Atlantic 1541), although everything Atlantic chose for the latter can also be found on this collection, including "My Favorite Things," "Equinox," "Giant Steps," "Naima," "Cousin Mary," and "Central Park West." This CD, however, is more generous and also includes such gems as "Summertime" from My Favorite Things, "Mr. Syms" from Coltrane Sings the Blues, "My Shining Hour" from Coltrane Jazz, and "Body and Soul" from Coltrane's Sound. Seasoned Coltrane fans will already be familiar with these essential 1959 and 1960 recordings, so the person that Rhino obviously had in mind when it released this disc was the casual listener. All of Coltrane's Atlantic output is worth owning, and most of it is truly essential. But for those who have yet to experience the joys of Coltrane's Atlantic period and need a course in Introductory Coltrane 101, this CD would be a very rewarding and logical starting point.
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Performance CreditsJohn Coltrane Primary Artist,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Flanagan Piano
Elvin Jones Drums,Snare Drums
Wynton Kelly Piano
Art Taylor Drums,Snare Drums
Jimmy Cobb Drums,Snare Drums
McCoy Tyner Piano
Paul Chambers Bass
Steve Davis Bass
Technical CreditsHugh Brown Art Direction
Nesuhi Ertegun Producer
Nat Hentoff Liner Notes
Shawn Amos Editorial Coordinator
Daniel Goldmark Editorial Research
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When I first saw the title, I said to myself, "Best of, huh? It better have Giant Steps, My favorite Things, and Sister Mary on it, or it ain't no best of anything. Well it did, and lots of other good stuff, so I bought it. It sort of filled the gaps between "Coltranes Sound", and "Blue Train". You have to be petty and pretentious, not to like this thing. Oh sure, there are lots of pieces that should be on any Coltrane "Best of" offering, but this is a single CD. You would need a box set to get most of it. This is great ... for the budget minded, the beginner, or people like me that want to pick up a lot of his better stuff on a single CD. This is super great and a super great deal.
If you've NEVER heard 'Trane, you should get this. "Naima" is worth that. Really, anyone interested in jazz should buy most of his Atlantic, Prestige and Impulse output as well as the phenomenal Afro Blue Impressions on Pablo. Two much better versions of "My Favorite Things" appeared on Impulse and Pablo.
Dancing and swirling about like a windy banshee.