Originally released in 1960 right on the heels of Giant Steps, Coltrane Jazz came in the midst of the saxophonist's peak Atlantic period. The album is among several recordings that Coltrane issued from 1959-1961, and which, ultimately, forever changed the face of music. Featuring pianists Wynton Kelly and McCoy Tyner, bassists Paul Chambers and Steve Davis, and drummers Elvin Jones and Jimmy Cobb, the set was recorded at three separate sessions. The expert personnel are a harbinger of the great quartet Coltrane soon would assemble for 1960's My Favorite Things.
And while not as famous as that iconic title, Coltrane Jazz belongs in the pantheon of phenomenal jazz albums and is an absolute must for any Coltrane fan. In addition to boasting superior performances and playing, the set marks Trane's first use of multiphonics, the practice of extracting more than one tone at a time from the horn, which here, and unlike on any other Coltrane record, is querulously pitched, allowing him to explore new tonalities on tracks like "Harmonique."
Innovations abound throughout. Every cut is an original composition save for Johnny Mercer's "My Shining Hour." Not surprisingly, Miles Davis' influence is also apparent; his rhythm section is used on all but one selection.
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
Paul Chambers / Steve Davis, bass
Elvin Jones / Jimmy Cobb, drums
McCoy Tyner / Wynton, piano