Fine '50's session, great guitarist
Avid | Chicago IL | 02/24/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say, I love this recording partly because it was one of the first jazz LP's I ever bought. As a teenage guitarist, bored with rock players, I went looking for some jazz guitar. When I saw the original cover, with Burrell holding a big fat D'Angelico archtop guitar, I snatched it up. Jazz aficionados will recognize the Prestige records sound from the period - kind of a jam session, the players probably had minimal rehearsal time, very bluesy, very comfortable with the music - just as they'd recognize the Blue Note sound of the same period. The playing is excellent on all counts. There's a beautiful duet - Coltrane/Burrell - that's worth the price of the CD by itself. Coltrane fans probably don't need this CD if they have other Prestige Coltrane, unless they want to hear him sharing the spotlight with a guitarplayer. Flanagan is good but maybe takes up too much solo time. Guitar players though, definitely should check this out. Burrell was consistently Downbeat guitar player of the year back in this era, and this recording contains some of his nicest, extended soloing I've heard. In subsequent years, Burrell's playing lost its teeth (for me at least), in favor of elegance, though he still remained a great player."
No eye popping blowing session
James S. Yeoman | 01/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Coltrane played with Mile, the Duke, Monk, and Saunders, and some time was spent with Shepp and Dolphy for sure. With each, Coltrane modified his sound to remain distinct yet give a more full experience when accompanying, or in duet with, these other musicians. That's why on this album you get Coltrane playing mainsteam swinging jazz: he's playing alongside Burrell, not Jimi Hendrix or Sonny Sharrock. One reviewer stated that this is the Coltrane album to buy last, only after you own all of his others (or sometime like that). Not true. The ballads are sensitive, just as Coltrane was sensitive to the art of Johnny Hartman. But if you want Coltrane blowing a lot of 1/32th notes at full volume, this isn't it. Who is the leader here? I don't know, but Burrell is on top of his game, and Coltrane has yet to throw conventional song structures out the window. I like all the numbers, although Big Paul is a bit long. Nice to play in the car, in bed, or when I don't have the chance to give my full attention the way later albums would demand for full comprehension. Freight Trane is a five star number, and is faster than a freight train and just as heavy. Enjoy."