John Coltrane

Sideman: Trane's Blue Note Sessions

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The 2014 John Coltrane anthology Sideman: Trane's Blue Note Sessions compiles cuts the influential saxophonist appeared on for other artists' various Blue Note albums. These are sides Coltrane recorded in 1956-1957, before he was the innovative giant he would become in the '60s. During this time, he was a working member of trumpeter Miles Davis' quintet, and an occasionally featured player with pianist Thelonious Monk. Here, however, Blue Note president Bruce Lundvall has brought together cuts Coltrane recorded for album sessions with three heavy-hitting artists, pianist Sonny Clark, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonist Johnny Griffin, with tracks culled from such albums as Clark's 1959 date Sonny's Crib, Chambers' 1956 and 1957 albums Chambers' Music and Whims of Chambers, and Griffin's 1957 classic A Blowin' Session. This is a three-disc set, presented in the original mono audio, and accompanied by a 34-page liner note booklet. While these tracks have been anthologized elsewhere, Sideman: Trane's Blue Note Sessions marks the first time all of Coltrane's recordings as a hired gun for the storied jazz label have been collected in one place; that alone makes this a welcome addition to Coltrane's catalog, not to mention a fascinating portrait of the saxophonist on the verge of his most transformative period.

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