The Believer offers an early glimpse at the talents of a still-developing John Coltrane. Recorded in the late '50s while he was still a member of the Miles Davis Sextet, this early solo outing finds Coltrane confident but just beginning to explore the kind of modalities with which he would soon revolutionize the world of jazz. One of the reasons Coltrane is so at ease here is the familiar setting: he's joined by fellow Davis cohorts Paul Chambers and Red Garland, among others. Drummer Louis Hayes provides a Latin-inflected beat on "Nakatini Serenade," as Coltrane and Donald Byrd soar above the rhythm section. The understated Rogers & Hammerstein standard "Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful" presents Coltrane the balladeer waxing lyrical over the subtle dynamics. Things to come are hinted at briefly in flurries of notes here and there, and it's fascinating to listen to the early work of this developing genius.
The Believer Review
by Rovi Staff