Giant Steps, one of the all time great jazz records recorded by the heavyweight of the saxophone John Coltrane, is only on sale for an unbelievable $1.99 in MP3 format right now, which has to stand as not only the Deal of the Day, but maybe of the year! This deal is only good for today and tomorrow.
Giant Steps, originally released in 1960 on Atlantic Records, has its place in jazz and music history on the same levels as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. It remains a record that gave the cool medium to the masses, much in the way that Miles’ record did (which Coltrane was also a part of). By this release, his 5th album as a leader, Coltrane plays with a surefooted approach on his instrument over arrangements that have almost become standard blueprints for adventurous and complex jazz to the trained ear, and easily accessible and highly listenable to the layman.
Jazz as a whole is still the most misunderstood and easily dismissed of any music in any genre. Most folks patiently let jazz zealots play their endless amounts of records for them (the jazz genre has multitudes upon multitudes of releases) and quickly denounce them as background soundtrack noise, jumbled notes, and arrangements better heard during shopping at convenience stores or waiting to be whisked up in elevators, than to give it the proper attention it deserves. For the most part, it’s one of the few musical genres that is decidedly rooted in American roots, and that’s not a statement of jingoism, simply pride. Jazz divides people like no other. Other than the rare popular jazz release or its usage in another forms of medium, (Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” Herbie Hancock’s electronic “Rockit” or hip hop artists that liberally sample jazz sounds for example) ultimately, it seems like either one likes jazz music or they don’t.
To cap, as Frank Zappa so eloquently and hilariously put it as only he could on his 1974 Roxy and Elsewhere album, “Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.”
As part of Amazon’s monthly $5 MP3 Album Deal for May 2012, there’s a great deal on three classic jazz albums in MP3 format right now for only $5 each, and all are encouraged to check them out before the sales ends.