John Coltrane - Blue Train

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""Blue Train", released in 1957, was John Coltrane's first attempt on making it as the leader and composer of his own group. He had started out working with Dizzy Gillespie in big bands and smaller groups on alto saxophone, the first sax that he learned how to play. He also played clarinet among other instruments. His first "big break" was when he asked to join Miles Davis' "first quintet". His work on Davis' albums "Milestones", "'Round About Midnight", and, most famously, "Kind of Blue" showed that he was becoming a virtuoso on his tenor sax and creating his signature playing style that was later called "sheets of sound" by jazz critic Ira Gitler. This first outing with Coltrane as a frontman included Miles' bassist and occasional drummer. This album is also unique in that a trombone is used, a rarity in jazz of this nature. Here is the track-by-track review.

1) Blue Train - Let's face it, everyone who knows at least a little bit about jazz knows the opening to this song. It's an established classic. Every instrument gets it moment to shine. Lee Morgan's trumpet in particular is spectacular in addition to 'Trane's solo. He undeniably put together a group of great musicians playing great material. 5/5


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