JOHN COLTRANE — Blue Train (review)

JOHN COLTRANE — Blue Train album cover Album · 1957 · Hard Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Amilisom
I gave in, and admitted that this album is a masterpiece.

Originally I felt tempted to resent this album because currently (at the time this album review is being written) it is rated as Coltrane's best album on this site. In my mind, there was absolutely no way it could have been better than "A Love Supreme". This feeling continued as I listened through it a few times.

The overall sound of the album is actually quite boring to any non-jazz listener. There's not much of any rich, colorful timbre being explored here whether it is the coolness of "Kind of Blue" or the controlled chaos of "A Love Supreme". It really just is straight-ahead, up-tempo, hard bop for a good deal of the time. The content here was made several albums before John Coltrane would ever meet McCoy Tyner and merge his sound with Tyner's brilliant chaotic storm of pentatonic scales and quartal chords.

Yet, at the same time I had to admit that much of the material presented in this album is masterpiece work. Despite the fact that I'm not familiar with most of the people in the band, they play the tunes with an excellent groove and the improvisations are spot-on. The tunes themselves are pretty good and have nice arrangements.

This is certainly an album that takes many listen-throughs to appreciate. It may not be as good as "A Love Supreme", but it's still very much worth listening to for any jazz fan.
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