The superb 2016 six-disc John Coltrane box set The Atlantic Years: In Mono brings together most of the legendary jazz musician's Atlantic albums into one package, restored to their original mono sound. Beginning in 1959, Coltrane's Atlantic years were a transformative time for the saxophonist, during which he furthered his modal explorations and began incorporating aspects of the avant-garde, a vital combination that he would later bring to its pinnacle on his 1965 Impulse! classic, A Love Supreme. Included here are the landmark albums Giant Steps (1960), Bags & Trane (1959) with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, Olé Coltrane (1961) featuring trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, Plays the Blues (1960), and Coltrane's collaboration with maverick pocket trumpeter Don Cherry, The Avant-Garde (1966). Also included is a 32-page book featuring photos by Lee Friedlander and liner notes by writer Ashley Kahn.
Although never formally signed, an oral agreement between John Coltrane and Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion was indeed honored on Blue Train – Coltrane's only collection of sides as a principal artist for the venerable label. The disc is packed solid with sonic evidence of Coltrane's innate leadership abilities…
Produced with the cooperation of his widow Alice Coltrane, the documentary focuses on the later period of Coltrane's work where he explored themes of Eastern spirituality. This is a retrospective documentary on the life and music of saxophonist John Coltrane, featuring reminiscences and interviews with his contemporaries and fellow musicians. The documentary is narrated by Ed Wheeler and directed by Robert Palmer and Toby Byron. Because Coltrane died from liver disease in 1967, there isn't that much footage available and you sense they were struggling to find source material. Hence the reliance on reminiscences and lots of fancy zooms on stills.
One of John Coltrane's most popular, influential recitals, IMPRESSIONS derives its two extended blowing tracks from the saxophonist's famous November 5, 1961 gig at New York's Village Vanguard. The brief, charming blues and ballad were recorded in the fall of 1962 and the spring of 1963, respectively. On IMPRESSIONS Coltrane acknowledged his roots, while striking out in new directions.