John Coltrane

Naima

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Song Review by

This hauntingly beautiful ballad reinforces the strength and conviction in John Coltrane’s uncanny ability to arrange as well as perform with a truly lyrical and poignant finesse that few could equal. “Namia” is the name of ‘Trane’s wife whose physical and spiritual beauty inspired this equally emotive composition. The song’s overwhelming placidity distinguishes it from the remainder of the uniformly brilliant Giant Steps album. It is this broad scope and diverse emotional range that signifies much of ‘Trane’s genius. The effectiveness of his supporting musical cast -- which includes his former Miles Davis band mates Wynton Kelly (piano), Jimmy Cobb drums and Paul Chambers (bass) -- is at once stunning, as well as anticipated from the quartet’s indelible track record with Davis. The players exude an intimacy that is both inherent and evident in their collective experience. As he had likewise done on “Cousin Mary”, ‘Trane provides an undercurrent of bittersweet noir soul to both his performance as well as to the overall arrangement. This is particularly notable in the repetitive coda. Although the languid pacing and genteel serenity of “Namia” aptly contrast the majority of the up tempo Bop mastery that graces Giant Steps, there is little room for doubting ‘Trane’s understated refinement. Inclined parties are encouraged to seek out the four respective readings on the essential seven-disc Live Trane: The European Tours (2001) box set -- each with their own scintillating personalities.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Jazzlore: Countdown, Vol. 24 1958 Savoy
No Image 1959 Atlantic
Giant Steps 1960 Atlantic 4:25
My Favorite Things 1961 Atlantic 0:00
Transcendence 1961 Summit Records 7:08
Best of John Coltrane [Universal International] 1963 Universal Distribution 4:23
No Image 1970 MCA / Impulse! 14:51
The Best of John Coltrane [Atlantic] 1970 Rhino / Atlantic 4:22
Spiritual [Drive] 1989 Drive (import) 7:14
No Image 1992 Charly Records 4:06
The Last Giant: Anthology 1993 Rhino 4:21
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Damian Music 7:20
The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings 1995 Atlantic / WEA 4:28
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Rhino
Priceless Jazz 1997 GRP 7:40
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Fantasy
Legendary Jazz 1998 Rhino 4:27
Ballad Trane 1999 Impulse! 15:09
Great Horns 1999
Various Artists
Jazz World 7:06
The Very Best of John Coltrane [Rhino] 2000 Rhino 4:24
Les Incontournables 2000 WEA International 4:31
Plays It Cool 2000 Metro 4:09
Trane Time 2000
Various Artists
ZYX Music 7:06
Ken Burns Jazz 2000 Verve 4:23
Impressions in Blue 2000 Mastersound 7:06
Mega Jazz 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 4:00
The Very Best of John Coltrane 2001 Impulse! 7:07
Black & Proud 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars 7:06
Golden Treasure: Jazz Superstars 2002
Various Artists
Park South Records 7:14
Legacy 2002 Impulse! 15:06
Gold Collection 2003 Dejavu Retro 7:07
Best of Jazz Greats 2003
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 4:22
Jazz Superstars 2003
Various Artists
Blumountain Records 7:14
Pure Jazz Moods 2004
Various Artists
Pure / Beechwood Records / Beechwood Music 7:08
Sax Impressions 2004 Bluenite 7:10
The Very Best of John Coltrane [Atlantic] 2005 ATG / Atlantic 4:25
The Jazz Lounge 2005
Various Artists
Pazzazz 4:08
Traneing In [United Audio] 2005 United Audio Entertainment 7:09
Jazz Classics 2006 Flashback Records 4:22
Bedtime Beats: The Secret to Sleep 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
To Go: Stick It in Your Car 2006 Impulse! 7:39
Hommage à Nesuhi 2008
Various Artists
Rhino
Jazz [Warner] 2008
Various Artists
Warner Music 4:21
Original Album Series 2011 Atlantic / Rhino / Warner Classics & Jazz 4:25
Rhapsody [2CD] 2011 Metro / Metro Select 4:22
The Impulse! Albums, Vol. 4 2011 Impulse! / Verve 15:11
Long Play Collections 2011 Imc Music Ltd. 4:21
The 100 Best Jazz Tunes of the 1950's 2011
Various Artists
Chrome Dreams 4:22
No Image 2012 Podium Records
Atlantic Jazz Legends 2014
Various Artists
Rhino 4:25
The Atlantic Years: In Mono 2016 Atlantic / Elektra / Warner Music 4:25
Trane 90 2016 Acrobat Music 4:21
Essential Original Albums 2016 Masters of Music 4:27
Trane: The Atlantic Collection 2017 Atlantic / Rhino 4:25
Blue World 2019 Verve 4:36
A Giant Step in Jazz Rhino Atlantic 4:31
No Image
Various Artists
Rhino
Blue Trane Coming MCPS / My Generation Music
Evolution: The Road to Giant Steps Chrome Dreams 4:25
John Coltrane, Vol. 10 Jazz Classics
Music To Read To
Various Artists
Rhino 4:21
The Jazz Collection [Laserlight]
Various Artists
Castle Pulse / Castle Music Ltd.
What A Wonderful World [Leader Music]
Various Artists
Leader Music 7:43