John Coltrane's most important and best selling album after "A Love Supreme", Blue Train gets with Rudy Van Gelder for a 24-bit mastering treatment. This edition features the complete session with alternate takes included.... more » JOHN COLTRANE: Tenor Saxophone
John Coltrane's most important and best selling album after "A Love Supreme", Blue Train gets with Rudy Van Gelder for a 24-bit mastering treatment. This edition features the complete session with alternate takes included. JOHN COLTRANE: Tenor Saxophone
LEE MORGAN: Trumpet
CURTIS FULLER: Trombone
KENNY DREW: Piano
PAUL CHAMBERS: Bass
PHILLY JOE JONES: Drums
"John Coltrane was a monster of the tenor sax as early as 1955, when he first joined Miles Davis' band. An overachiever, Coltrane had a relentless and unvarying passion for practice, for improving his skills as an artist. As he progressed through his quite legendary career, he never ceased to amaze.BLUE TRAIN (1957) is a classic; an album often heralded as one of the greatest records of the 1950s by fans and jazz educators alike. It gives the listener a very clear view of what made these musicians so great. You will notice things like Coltrane's (and pianist Kenny Drew's) tasteful and masterful usage of the blues scale in the chant-like title cut. Many musicians have the tendency to drive that scale into the ground when playing the blues. Not so here: these guys were well beyond that sort of thing. On Jerome Kern's "I'm Old Fashioned," you will hear Coltrane's (or was it Kenny Drew's?) ascending-stepwise reharmonization. The Lee Morgan and Curtis Fuller solos on "Locomotion" are a delight, but that's true of the entire album.It is well known that the Coltrane composition "Giant Steps" (released in 1959) is a bear to play, to improvise on the changes. But, even here, Coltrane was writing tunes that could shake a few people up. "Moment's Notice" is one such tune. It has an ABAC structure (8 bars, 8 bars, 8 bars, 14 bars: a total of 38 bars for one time through)--hard enough to follow--along with a barrage of formidable chord changes. Some say the song got its name when Curtis Fuller asked, "You expect me to play these changes at a moment's notice?"BLUE TRAIN is certainly deserving of being hailed as a "classic," a term grossly overused these days. Imagination or creativity doesn't always come in the form of extreme busyness, and if you give this album your full attention, it will offer riches galore. There is good reason why BLUE TRAIN is listed on many a jazz educator's essential recordings list: It IS essential. (Seeing that this reissue gives you all the bonus extras for just a few bucks more, I can't see going for the earlier one.)Cheers,
"Blue Train" - a Classic Remastered.
The Groove | Boston, MA | 01/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is "Blue Train" my favorite John Coltrane album? No, it isn't. Is it still a classic? You bet. Here is a record that captures the essence of cool and exudes style and grace so effortlessly, the music almost seems to float on air. John and his band give nothing less than 100% throughout this album, and their superb playing helped shape up what is now known as probably the most familiar jazz record that isn't performed by Miles Davis. It's been a while since I've listened to this album, but having recently gotten the newly packaged edition, I've reintroduced myself to a "Blue Train" that actually improves over the original recording. For one, the remastered version presents the album the way it was meant to be heard: clean and crisp. The incredible title track and "Locomotion" benefit most from the remastering, and Coltrane's sax playing is even more commanding this time around. Also, we get alternative versions of 2 tracks: the better of the two is "Blue Train." On this version, Coltrane's playing differs quite significantly, but it works just as well. In addition, the disc has an enhanced portion for your PC where you can listen to retrospective interviews from engineer Rudy Van Gelder, as well as a brief black-and-white video where Coltrane is performing with Miles Davis onstage. So if you're new to Coltrane and are unsure which version of "Blue Train" to get, this baby is the one to pick up. The remastering provides a better sound, you get two bonus tracks, and there's a decent handful of extras to view/listen on your computer. "Blue Train" still holds up as a classic, and its remastering and repackaging are well deserved."
Too Many Blue Trains
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 08/07/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wait a minute, I already own "The Ultimate Blue Train" so what is this CD supposed to be, Super-Ultimate?! Clearly with this reissue of John Coltrane's classic "Blue Train," the folks at Blue Note have returned to the mindset they had during the deletion-happy, series-slashing days of the late 1980s (when they reportedly deleted the majority of that year's jazz releases to make way for a then new Garth Brooks album). I am delighted that Rudy Van Gelder has been able to remaster one of the greatest sessions that he ever recorded, but that fact alone does not warrant another reissue. "The Ultimate Blue Train" was worth buying to replace the original CD -- it had remastered sound, two bonus tracks, and a multi-media component featuring rare photographs and more. It was what CDs were supposed to be! Yet another CD reissue of the same material that we all are supposed to buy again, that furthermore confuses potential new jazz buyers, is not! The only reason I give this CD four stars and not less is because this album contains some of the greatest jazz ever made. I love John Coltrane, but I hate manipulative marketing."
St. John Speaks
Will Flannery | Berkeley, CA | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In San Francisco there is a church of St. John Coltrane, they have weekly services, and they have a weekly radio show. Let me try to explain why I'm comfortable with the "St. John". What makes a saint? A saint performs miracles. Coltrane was fortunate in that when he performed his miracles a tape was rolling. For example, I consider his solo on "Blue Train" miraculous. Let me elucidate: I'm a saxophonist myself, and I can play a mean blues solo (not great, but mean), and I can listen to a great blues solo and while I could not have played the solo, I can imagine how it was played, and I recognize the player as a fellow mortal. But with some Trane solos, e.g. on "Blue Train", it's too much. I can't imagine how anyone could have played it, it's too fast, the energy level is too high, the lines are too perfect, the creativity is too great, it's giving expression to an emotion that is too deep. It simple doesn't seem possible that anyone could have played that solo. It is beyond comprehension, awe inspiring. A miracle? Check it out.So, you might think, it's inaccessible, for the aficionado only. Nope. They released "Blue Train" as a 45! I heard it on the student union jukebox when I came to U.C. Berkeley. It is as accessible as it gets.Jazz is ephemeral, everything has to be right for the best performances, and everything was perfect on this date. The players were all at the absolute top of their games, the tunes were great, the mood was right, it's a great record in every respect."
A classic Coltrane release deserves the ultimate!
Bob Martinez | Brooksville, FL USA | 06/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blue Train is my favorite Coltrane release. If "A Love Supreme" sounds too zen-like and just too weird, then stick to the likes of this release and Coltrane's My Favorite Things and Giant Steps. Coltrane was the greatest tenor sax player after Parker's death, and this has been called perhaps his greatest album. It features also Lee Morgan on trumpet, who plays a Clifford Brown type horn with a bit more funk and Curtis Fuller on Trombone, along with Bass expert Paul Chambers, great piano work by Kenny Drew and drums by the legendery Philly Joe Jones. My favorite piece is: Moment's Notice. If you're looking for one Coltrane CD, pick this one up. It is simply beautiful jazz and the ultimate treatment (Enhanced CD) is the only way to go. I used to own the regular CD, but a classic this good deserves only the ultimate treatment. Wonderful! Wonderful!"