John Coltrane
Giant Steps


5.0
classic

Review

by Kingadamx USER (18 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 47 replies | 14,600 views


Release Date: 1959 | Tracklist


2 of 2 thought this review was well written

A truly great Jazz record. This album finds Coltrane right after he played on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue in 1960, and on this album more to take his sax playing to the next level. It seems like everything is a lot more straight-forward on this record than on Kind of Blue. The album is a showcase of John's amazing ability to play saxophone at such extroardinary speeds. It seems like Coltrane is almost trying to find himself in his playing and technique on this record. The playing is extroardinary even though it seems like he settles down and is more comfortable with his own style when he records A Love Supreme. As a Tenor Saxophone player myself I find this album to explore such a unique style of playing, I always find myself trying to imitate him but it is **** near impossible to play like him.

1. Giant Steps - The excellent tempo set by the drums brings you up and eases you down as you feel Coltrane's amazing playing start to speed up faster and faster. Paul Chambers is really such an amazing bassist as well. The bass playing on this track and even throughout the album is great. The piano solo in this song is great because it feels like the pianist is trying to imitate John's style of playing the saxaphone and translate it to the piano.
Rating: 5/5

2. Cousin Mary - A much more relaxed feel than on the previous track, but John eventually starts putting the speed back up on the sax. The piano solo is much more conventional and is really good. I love the bass interlude in this song, it is just so heavy and powerful. Near the end of the song the tempo eases up and drops out.
Rating: 5/5

3. Countdown - A great drum solo to start off the song, then John goes in on saxaphone and plays at such an amazing speed that it all of a sudden hits you from nowhere. The rhythm section comes in and is keeping up the tempo as John blasts through his solos with such amazing stamina that it is unbelievable.
Rating: 5/5

4. Spiral - The Tenor brings you down through the intro and throughout the song in a motion that kind of feels like a "spiral". The spiraling motion allows the rhythm section to control the tempo easier. The Saxaphone playing once again is amazing as well as the rest of the great band on the album. Not much more to say about the track.
Rating: 4.5/5

5. Syeeda's Song Flute - Short hits by the rhythm section as Coltrane plays an easy going solo until he blasts through to the next line and speeds up the track. The bass solo by Chambers is excellent along with the rhythm section.
Rating: 5/5

6. Naima - A slow ballad that is much more relaxing and easy going than the rest of the album. John plays his sax with much more emphasis on the notes and is not just flying through solos. The whole band is at ease and the piano is played very well.
Rating: 5/5

7. Mr. P.C. - The tempo speeds up for this last track that is an excellent display of the musicianship on this album. This is easily my favorite song on the album. The song is actually a tribute to his bass player on the album (Mr. Paul Chambers). Rolling Stone says that this is now "a stalwart of the contemporary jazz repertoire".
Rating: 5/5

This is the second jazz album that I ever bought and one that made me pick up my sax again after putting it down for a while. You will most definitely not be bored with this album. The musicians on this record are phenomonal and the material is excellent. If you are new to jazz or are a long-time fan, this album is for you.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
unclebobscircus
November 25th 2004



10 Comments


Good review. I'm planning on buying this and Kind of Blue once I get any money scraped together (new guitar tomorrow morning, gonna be in the poorhouse for a while) because I don't really listen to enough jazz.

Zappa
November 25th 2004



355 Comments


Good review. I would have mentioned that chord-progression on "Giant Steps," though. A change every two beats at 300bpm is really something. What Wynton is doing there is basically trying his best to stick with the form. Of course, at that point it was second nature to Trane.

This is a remarkable album, and could be called the peak of hard-bop style.

Griffith
November 25th 2004



15 Comments


Fantastic. Essentia albuml to any jazz lover's collection, or for that matter, any music lover's collection in general.

Great review.

Iskandar
January 6th 2005



7 Comments


[QUOTE=Zappa]Good review. I would have mentioned that chord-progression on "Giant Steps," though. A change every two beats at 300bpm is really something. What Wynton is doing there is basically trying his best to stick with the form. Of course, at that point it was second nature to Trane.

This is a remarkable album, and could be called the peak of hard-bop style.[/QUOTE]

I'm pretty sure it's Tommy Flanagan on piano on every track except "Naima". It doesn't sound like Wynton on the title track to me anyway.

Good album and review, but I don't see how it's more straightforward than Kind of Blue. If anything the compositions are a lot more complex. :confused:

The Depressed
January 6th 2005



10 Comments


This is one of my favourite albums of all time, and I'm not exactly a big fan of jazz. A real masterpiece.

Zappa
January 6th 2005



355 Comments


[QUOTE=The Dropper]I'm pretty sure it's Tommy Flanagan on piano on every track except "Naima". It doesn't sound like Wynton on the title track to me anyway.

Good album and review, but I don't see how it's more straightforward than Kind of Blue. If anything the compositions are a lot more complex. :confused:[/QUOTE]

A-ha, that's what I get for not doing my research. Thanks for correcting me.

As for your second point, I find that it's more straight-forward than Kind of Blue in that it really is chordal improvisation. Where Miles' album was a set of motifs and open-ended modes, Giant Steps is a much more bop-based affair.

Smackers
January 6th 2005



25 Comments


Nice review, I own Blue Train, A Love Supreme and My favorite things. Would this be a good one to pick up next?

Iai
Emeritus
January 6th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I have this and can't remember ever listening to it.

Looks like tomorrow has a plan!

Tangy zizzle
January 6th 2005



253 Comments


A great great album. The man really could do no wrong.

Iskandar
January 7th 2005



7 Comments


[QUOTE=Zappa]A-ha, that's what I get for not doing my research. Thanks for correcting me.

As for your second point, I find that it's more straight-forward than Kind of Blue in that it really is chordal improvisation. Where Miles' album was a set of motifs and open-ended modes, Giant Steps is a much more bop-based affair.[/QUOTE]

No problem.

I see your point now. Giant Steps is basically the epitome of what hard bop is to me, and it's completely different from Kind of Blue. But the way the reviewer worded that didn't really make sense to me. Giant Steps is just so much more intense.

Zappa
January 7th 2005



355 Comments


[QUOTE=The Dropper]No problem.

I see your point now. Giant Steps is basically the epitome of what hard bop is to me, and it's completely different from Kind of Blue. But the way the reviewer worded that didn't really make sense to me. Giant Steps is just so much more intense.[/QUOTE]

To me, Moanin' by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers sums up hard bop as I know it, but Giant Steps is certainly the most extreme and masterful example of the style.

Kingadamx
January 8th 2005



120 Comments


[QUOTE=The Dropper]No problem.

I see your point now. Giant Steps is basically the epitome of what hard bop is to me, and it's completely different from Kind of Blue. But the way the reviewer worded that didn't really make sense to me. Giant Steps is just so much more intense.[/QUOTE]
Yeah, I guess that I was trying to find a way to relate it to Kind of Blue because it was in the same period as this record. I guess I sort of worded it weird, I meant that the album is much more intense and hard-hitting (or straight-forward) as where Kind of Blue drags on a lot and is very mellowed out. The wording was bad, sorry about that.

boog3ee
January 8th 2005



2 Comments


Cant go wrong with Coltrane! great album indeed!

Iai
Emeritus
April 25th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

So I've listened to this now.

And it's my favourite jazz record by quite some distance.

Woodstock
August 1st 2005



154 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I was really surprised at how much I like this album. This shifted my likings more to Coltrane than Davis.

masada
September 4th 2005



2733 Comments


I want this.

Kingadamx
September 4th 2005



120 Comments


^Get it, it'll be worth it.

DesolationRow
September 4th 2005



833 Comments


I declare this to be "Most Amazing Jazz Album of All Time".


Woodstock
September 9th 2005



154 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yea, it really is amazing. It's my current favorite Coltrane album.

Tv Party
November 17th 2006



98 Comments


I love this album.This Message Edited On 12.15.06



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