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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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".
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.