Before this ballad album was released, John Coltrane's critics and jazz fans classed him as an 'avant-gardist,' a modernist, an angry, wild young man who made his tenor saxophone scream out. Tongues wagged that free jazz could be made by just anyone who hung a horn around his neck. These eight Ballads made people stop and listen with real pleasure. 'Have you heard him? He can blow the notes properly, the pianist knows all the harmonies and the drummer does far more than just bash!' These words were to be heard and read everywhere, in the specialist magazines, and in the jazz clubs from New York to Tokyo. All of the themes are taken from musicals and well-known numbers performed by Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee among others. All of them have been performed time and time again and although the musicians played the themes for the very first time at the recording session, their interpretation was well structured while at the same time fresh and intense.