John Coltrane - Giant Steps
John Coltrane’s landmark Atlantic album in glorious mono.
John Coltrane will take the spotlight this year when John Scheinfeld’s highly anticipated Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary begins its theatrical run. Two days prior to the recording of Olé Coltrane, Coltrane had made his inaugural recording session for his new label, Impulse! Records. With one further album due for his old label Atlantic, he brought in his working quintet along with two participants in the Africa/Brass sessions, Art Davis and Freddie Hubbard. Owing to his concurrent contract with Prestige Records, Eric Dolphy was listed on the credits under the pseudonym George Lane. Coltrane's interest in the music of Spain evident in ""Olé"", may have been spurred by his ex-employer Miles Davis's Sketches of Spain from the previous year. The structure and melody of the modal jazz vamp ""Olé"" was borrowed from the Spanish folk song El Vito (maybe better known as El Quinto Regimiento from the Spanish Civil War (also known as Venga Jaleo), which was made known by Pete Seeger), while the soprano saxophone work recalled 1961's ""My Favorite Things"".
Issued as part of the John Coltrane: The Atlantic Years In Mono box set, the mono reissues for five Coltrane studio albums: Giant Steps, Olé Coltrane, Coltrane Plays The Blues, Bags & Trane and The Avant-Garde are now available on 180g vinyl LP. The set received critical acclaim in 2016 including five stars from Downbeat which noted, “With no alternate takes and presented verbatim and presented as the albums were originally issued song-by-song, there is certainly a warmth, clarity and a sense of wholeness that can give new fans a fresh way to listen to Coltrane.”
The mono albums cover the time when Coltrane — after playing on Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue — was moving away from the life of a sideman and embracing the role of bandleader. The music he recorded at Atlantic features some of his finest work, including the wise blues of “Equinox,” a bright, swinging version of “My Shining Hour,” the exuberant “Giant Steps,” and the hit single “My Favorite Things.”
His first album for the Atlantic label, Giant Steps is the breakthrough album for Coltrane as a leader, and many of its tracks have become practice templates for jazz saxophonists.