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John Coltrane: The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings [Box]

Track List

>Stairway to the Stars
>Late Late Blues, The
>Bags & Trane
>Three Little Words
>Night We Called It a Day, The
>Blues Legacy
>Giant Steps - (alternate version)
>Naima - (alternate version)
>Like Sonny - (alternate version)
>Countdown - (alternate take)
>Syeeda's Song Flute
>Syeeda's Song Flute - (alternate take)
>Mr. P.C.
>Giant Steps
>Cousin Mary
>Cousin Mary - (alternate take)
>I'll Wait and Pray
>I'll Wait and Pray - (alternate take)
>Little Old Lady
>Like Sonny
>My Shining Hour
>Some Other Blues
>Fifth House
>Blessing, The
>Focus on Sanity
>Invisible, The
>Bemsha Swing
>Village Blues
>Village Blues - (alternate take)
>My Favorite Things
>Central Park West
>Mr. Syms
>Untitled Original (Exotica)
>Body and Soul
>Body and Soul - (alternate take)
>Mr. Knight
>Blues to Elvin - (alternate take)
>Blues to Elvin
>Mr. Day
>Blues to You - (alternate take)
>Blues to You
>Blues to Bechet
>Everytime We Say Goodbye
>But Not For Me
>Night Has a Thousand Eyes, The
>Dahomey Dance
>Original Untitled Ballad (To Her Ladyship)
>Giant Steps - (take 1, alternate version, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 2, alternate version, false start)
>Giant Steps - (take 3, alternate version, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 4, alternate version, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 5, alternate version, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 6, alternate version, false start)
>Giant Steps - (take 7, alternate version, incomplete)
>Naima - (take 1, alternate version, incomplete)
>Naima - (take 2, alternate version, incomplete)
>Naima - (take 4, alternate version, false start)
>Naima - (take 5, alternate version)
>Naima - (take 6, alternate version)
>Like Sonny - (alternate version, rehearsal 1, false start)
>Like Sonny - (alternate version, rehearsal 2, incomplete)
>Like Sonny - (take 1, alternate version, false start)
>Like Sonny - (take 2, alternate version, incomplete)
>Like Sonny - (take 3, alternate version, incomplete)
>Like Sonny - (take 4, alternate version, false start)
>Like Sonny - (take 5, alternate version)
>Like Sonny - (take 6, alternate version, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 3, incomplete)
>Giant Steps - (take 6, alternate take)
>Blues to Elvin - (take 2, false start)
>Blues to Elvin - (take 3, alternate take)
>Blues to You - (take 2, alternate take)

Album Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly (8/18/95, p.57) - "...this languidly paced--at times hypnotic--seven-CD set includes his first versions of such classics as `Giant Steps' and `My Favorite Things'..." - Rating: B+

Down Beat (11/95, p.73) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...the sound quality...is superior to that of the original CDs....this set reintroduces to us some of improvisation's most savored zeniths. Even those listeners mildly interested in the music's depth should grasp its value after being drenched by THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION's tidal wave of ideas..."

JazzTimes (3/96, p.51) - Winner in the JazzTimes Readers Poll for Best Reissue of 1995.

Vibe (10/95, p.139) - "...presents some of his best and most accesible, though still adventurous, material....Discerning a few highlights from this boxed set is like determining the most brilliant gems in a mine full of diamonds..."

Musician (10/95, pp.79-80) - "...document[s] his transition from...respected, albeit controversial, tenor saxophonist, to the most influential player of his generation....Coltrane's Atlantic years stand out as the period in which he consolidated his musical identity by surrounding himself with players capable of matching his incredible energy and boundless spirit."

Village Voice (2/20/96) - Ranked #2 on the Reissues list of Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.

Album Notes

Full title: The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings Of John Coltrane.

THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION includes every track from the albums GIANT STEPS, COLTRANE JAZZ, MY FAVORITE THINGS, BAGS & TRANE, OLE COLTRANE, COLTRANE PLAYS THE BLUES, COLTRANE'S SOUND, THE AVANT-GARDE, THE COLTRANE LEGACY and ALTERNATE TAKES, with songs sequenced by recording date. Disc 7 of the box set features 68 minutes of previously unreleased rehearsals, false starts and outtakes, all newly discovered. It also includes a 75-page, hardbound book with liner notes, interviews and remembrances of John Coltrane.

Personnel: John Coltrane (tenor & soprano saxophones); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute); Don Cherry, Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Milt Jackson (vibraphone); Hank Jones, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner (piano); Paul Chambers, Charlie Haden, Percy Heath, Steve Davis, Art Davis, Reggie Workman (bass); Connie Kay, Art Taylor, Jimmy Cobb, Ed Blackwell, Elvin Jones, Lex Humphries (drums).

Compilation producer: Joel Dorn.

Recorded at Atlantic Studios and A & R Studios, New York, New York between January 15, 1959 and May 25, 1961. Includes a 75-page hardbound book with liner notes by Lewis Porter, Jimmy Heath, Yusef Lateef, Charles Lloyd.

THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION was nominated for a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Historical Album.

After his tenure in the great Miles Davis group of the mid-'50s, John Coltrane was ready to strike out on his own. Although he had recorded several records on the smaller Prestige label, Coltrane's first major label association was with Ahmet Ertegun's Atlantic Records. Now all of 'Trane's pioneering Atlantic recordings are compiled in one huge seven-disc set entitled THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION. As the content attests, this title is a fitting analogy.

Starting with the early recordings with Milt Jackson for the BAGS & TRANE album, the set chronologically follows Coltrane's work through the groundbreaking GIANT STEPS sessions and beyond. Many alternate takes are sprinkled throughout amidst familiar album tracks from the likes of COLTRANE JAZZ, COLTRANE PLAYS THE BLUES and the magnificent MY FAVORITE THINGS, giving a picture of the saxophonist's intense creativity at this period. Finally, for the true 'Trane collector, disc seven, in a unique package, includes twenty-five alternate and incomplete takes, false starts and rehearsal recordings of classics like "Giant Steps," "Naima" and "Like Sonny." This set is a powerful document of one of the most significant artists of the modern era in his prime.


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