Released in January 1960, John Coltrane's first album devoted entirely to his own compositions confirmed his towering command of tenor saxophone and his emerging power as a composer. Apprenticeships with Dizzy, Miles, and Monk had helped focus his furious, expansive solos, and his stamina and underlying sense of harmonic adventure brought Coltrane, at 33, to a new cusp—the polytonal "sheets of sound" that distinguished his marathon solos were offset by interludes of subtle, concise lyricism, embodied here in the tender "Naima." That classic ballad is a calm refuge from the ecstatic, high-speed runs that spark the set's up-tempo climaxes, which begin with the opening title song, itself a cornerstone of modern Jazz composition.
John Coltrane - Giant Steps LP
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