So this is the “new normal?” Or is it a return to the “old normal?” Either way, regardless of how you spent this past year, regardless of your thoughts on the world, politics, and economics of the world, furrowing your eyebrows at this or that or embracing all the necessary and arguably unnecessary changes in the world, one needs a constant personal and universal soundtrack to keep going, to keep sane, to keep grounded and inspired. As the newest round of the holiday season gets ready to dawn upon us, music not only acts as the perfect and always obvious choices for even the most discriminating of tastes, but also something that brings much-needed relief and communion to end another challenging year and brace everyone for what lies ahead in 2022. So as always, here’s my picks for some of the sonic highlights released this year, spanning all genres and tastes.
The Very Best of John Coltrane, a wonderful collection which spans some of the halcyon years of the famed late saxophonist, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00.
The works of John Coltrane, who cut his musical teeth with luminaries like Miles Davis before heading out on his own illustrious solo career, are at once exploratory, influential, endlessly stretching and creatively reaching and ultimately all highly recommended. Coltrane played his saxophone almost akin to an alchemist waving his wand, conjuring up sounds and an overall feel to the world of jazz which went to untold boundaries and broke them, conventions splintered, and ultimately, the listeners tranquilized and satisfied.
Another heavyweight release from the golden era of jazz, Blue Train by saxophone titan John Coltrane, is on sale in MP3 format right now on Amazon for only a mindboggling $3.99! For jazz aficionados, this is the deal of the year, if not the decade.
Blue Train (known here as The Ultimate Blue Train because it spawns some bonus tracks of alternate takes) was originally released in 1957 and while it arguably may not stand as Coltrane’s best album, it is still a watershed musical release for the tenor player.
From its iconic cover, inspired by Coltrane’s affection for Pablo Picasso’s storied artistic “blue period” of his paintings, to the classic title track – which starts off in stutter steps of brass sounds and chugs along to bluesy hard bop – and tracks like “Moment’s Notice,” which has urgency and unabashed classy musical taste via the talents of Coltrane leading the way, and the wonderful rhythm section of Paul Chambers on stand up bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums, the upbeat “Locomotion” and in fact all the rest of the tracks, Blue Train is essential. The record also achieved the rare feat of being certified Gold by the RIAA, as most jazz records never sell into the hundreds of thousands. The fact that this album did says a lot about Coltrane’s desire to standout in an ocean of his amazing jazz peers at the time and of all time. Blue Train remains one of America’s most memorable and important musical releases for all eternity.
Grab the album while it’s on sale through the end of the day. Also, browse all 1,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as several albums on sale this week for only $2.99 each.
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.