The Atlantic Years: In Mono

The Atlantic Years: In Mono

by John ColtraneJohn Coltrane




The superb 2016 six-disc John Coltrane box set The Atlantic Years: In Mono brings together most of the legendary jazz musician's Atlantic albums into one package, restored to their original mono sound. Beginning in 1959, Coltrane's Atlantic years were a transformative time for the saxophonist, during which he furthered his modal explorations and began incorporating aspects of the avant-garde, a vital combination that he would later bring to its pinnacle on his 1965 Impulse! classic, A Love Supreme. Included here are the landmark albums Giant Steps (1960), Bags & Trane (1959) with vibraphonist Milt Jackson, Olé Coltrane (1961) featuring trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, Plays the Blues (1960), and Coltrane's collaboration with maverick pocket trumpeter Don Cherry, The Avant-Garde (1966). Also included is a 32-page book featuring photos by Lee Friedlander and liner notes by writer Ashley Kahn. Sadly, the mono masters of Coltrane's other Atlantic albums My Favorite Things (1961), Coltrane Jazz (1961), and Coltrane's Sound (1964) were destroyed in a fire and therefore could not be included in this set. Also, as these albums are intentionally presented as they were on the original LPs, they do not include any of the alternate takes that have been issued elsewhere. Despite these omissions, The Atlantic Years: In Mono works as a succinct display of the core of Coltrane's Atlantic years and as a mono companion to the previous Atlantic Coltrane set, 1995's The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings. The primary reason to investigate this box is to hear the recordings in their original mono production, an aspect that some listeners will prefer, some will dislike, and yet others won't care about either way. Nonetheless, there is an audible contrast between the way the mono versions sound and the way the later, and perhaps more readily accepted, stereo versions sound. Gone is the attempt to separate the musicians and place them in different speakers. Instead, we get a cohesive, single-microphone effect that some think better represents the way albums were recorded in the '60s. At the very least, this is how most people first heard these albums and it's fascinating to compare them to their stereo versions. Indeed, rather than imparting stereo's effect of feeling as if you are sitting at Coltrane's feet in the studio (admittedly a cool thing), the mono versions offer their own earthy, natural, in-room sound that is perhaps warmer and more compact, allowing you to get a better handle on the overall group's cohesiveness. It's a sound that works especially well on Coltrane's iconic ballad "Naima," where his plaintive saxophone moan, framed by pianist Wynton Kelly's delicate harmonic bed, is softer, more immediate, and perhaps even more poignant-sounding than on the stereo version. Ultimately, given the important nature of Coltrane's recordings and the historic accuracy achieved here, The Atlantic Years: In Mono is a more than welcome addition to Coltrane's archive.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2016
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0081227946418
catalogNumber: 554707

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Coltrane   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Don Cherry   Trumpet
Art Davis   Bass
Eric Dolphy   Flute
Tommy Flanagan   Piano
Elvin Jones   Drums
Hank Jones   Piano
Wynton Kelly   Piano
Art Taylor   Drums
Jimmy Cobb   Drums
Connie Kay   Drums
Percy Heath   Bass
McCoy Tyner   Piano
Ed Blackwell   Drums
Paul Chambers   Bass
Charlie Haden   Bass
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet
Reggie Workman   Bass
George Lane   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Steve Davis   Bass

Technical Credits

Don Cherry   Composer
Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Milt Jackson   Composer
Elvin Jones   Composer
Matt Dennis   Composer
McCoy Tyner   Composer
Ornette Coleman   Composer
John Coltrane   Composer
Tom Dowd   Engineer
Joe Goldberg   Liner Notes
Nat Hentoff   Liner Notes
Phil Iehle   Engineer
Bert Kalmar   Composer
Ilhan Mimaroglu   Remix Editing Engineer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Phil Ramone   Engineer
Harry Ruby   Composer
Frank Signorelli   Composer
Ralph J. Gleason   Liner Notes
Matty Malneck   Composer
A.B. Spellman   Liner Notes
Marvin Israel   Cover Design
Loring Eutemey   Cover Design
Lee Friedlander   Cover Photo
Sam Smidt   Cover Design
Jean-Luke Epstein   Artwork
Tom Adair   Composer
Bill Tennyson   Composer
Ashley Kahn   Liner Notes
Abidine   Cover Painting
Florence Halfon   Producer
Jim Marshall   Cover Photo
Harry Edison   Composer
Billy Frazier   Composer
Marty Norman   Cover Art

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