Released in 2000, The Very Best of John Coltrane is hardly the first best-of collection by the seminal saxophonist, and you can bet certain that it won't be the last. Focusing on 'Trane's influential Atlantic output of the late '50s and early '60s, this CD shouldn't be confused with previous Best of John Coltrane collections from Pablo/Fantasy (Pablo 2405-417) or Atlantic (Atlantic 1541), although everything Atlantic chose for the latter can also be found on this collection, including "My Favorite Things," "Equinox," "Giant Steps," "Naima," "Cousin Mary," and "Central Park West." This CD, however, is more generous and also includes such gems as "Summertime" from My Favorite Things, "Mr. Syms" from Coltrane Sings the Blues, "My Shining Hour" from Coltrane Jazz, and "Body and Soul" from Coltrane's Sound. Seasoned Coltrane fans will already be familiar with these essential 1959 and 1960 recordings, so the person that Rhino obviously had in mind when it released this disc was the casual listener. All of Coltrane's Atlantic output is worth owning, and most of it is truly essential. But for those who have yet to experience the joys of Coltrane's Atlantic period and need a course in Introductory Coltrane 101, this CD would be a very rewarding and logical starting point.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson