Album of the Day

Giant Steps

“History will undoubtedly enshrine this disc as a watershed the likes of which may never truly be appreciated,” said Allmusic of GIANT STEPS, and few jazz fans would argue the point. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane had just finished his work for Miles Davis when he began recording this, his debut for Atlantic Records, with producer Nesuhi Ertegün in New York. Assembled from two 1959 sessions (the second of which reunited Trane with KIND OF BLUE pianist Wynton Kelly and drummer Jimmy Cobb), the collection introduced such jazz standards as “Naima” and the title track – as well as a host of stylistic innovations. Jazz solos would never be the same after the intense “sheets of sound” treatment they receive here, and the approach to chord changes was just as groundbreaking. Released 60 years ago this month, GIANT STEPS has been enshrined by the Library of Congress, Rolling Stone and The Penguin Guide to Jazz, and it remains essential listening.

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