Track Selection: Village Blues
John Coltrane (ss, ts) Wynton Kelly or McCoy Tyner (p) Paul Chambers or Steve Davis (b), Jimmy Cobb or Elvin Jones (d) recorded November 24 and December 2, 1959 & October 21, 1960, NYC
The first album released after Giant Steps, the tracks on Coltrane Jazz were recorded mainly in late 1959, although Village Blues was recorded almost a year later in 1960 and is very much in the stark style found on the later Coltrane’s Sound. In the earlier 1959 cuts Coltrane used the Miles Davis rhythm section - pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Village Blues offers a different line up - of McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Steve Davis on bass; the personnel would play on Coltrane’s most influential 1960s albums. Coltrane Jazz offers a fascinating insight into the transition to the Impulse years.
Vinyl: Atlantic 1534 UK release on London (Decca) DG mono
Decca UK original pressing of a much-reissued Coltrane title on Atlantic.
Seller Description: Not noted, but VG++
I have seen this record countless times in the reissues section of record shops but this is the closest I have come to the “real thing” – not the original US Atlantic but a very fine pressing by Decca for its first UK release under license from Atlantic.
A somewhat neglected record which wrongly falls under the shadow of Giant Steps. But there is the thing. Just because one record is better than another there is no reason why you can’t have and enjoy both. The best can be the enemy of the good. It is the process of finding the best for yourself that is the sport.