Wednesday, October 21, 2009



The John Coltrane box set "Side Steps" arrived last week. I hope things are going well for you at DL Media, and the company is keeping you busy. I appreciate you getting me the box set soon after I requested it. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to give it my undivided attention. The five-disc set shows Coltrane from 1956 to 1958 as a reliable hired gun for established jazz marksmen pianists Red Garland, and saxophonist Gene Ammons, for example,

"Side Steps" will not excite many long time John Coltrane enthusiasts. Chances are, they have “Informal Jazz”, "Tenor Madness, "Mating Call", “All Alone The Red Garland Quintet”, "Mal/2", "The Big Sound", "Soul Junction" "Groove Blues", classic albums Prestige Records released in the late 50’s that make up this box set.

However, the set is a good starting point for individuals new to Coltrane legacy and music. Those individuals will experience Coltrane as a valued employee. Years before the saxophonist became an innovator, a revered improviser, and a jazz spiritualist. On tenor saxophonist Gene Ammon's date "The Big Sound", which Prestige released in 1958, shows the saxophonists were, pardon the pun, from the same gene Pool. Then on pianist Red Garland's "Soul Junction"-which was the first jazz album I loved unconditionally- the Coltrane and pianist have a kinetic bond.

Jordy, diehard Coltrane fans probably will not have this box set on their Christmas list. However, newcomers to Coltrane music will have a chance to hear the saxophonist during his formative years honing his technique and developing his sound.

Stay hip,
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