This set of tracks recorded in the late 50’s may not be some of Coltrane’s most renown work but it shows the early stuff of a genius whose later works would really set him apart from the pack when it came to Jazz, Bebop, and Hard Bop. The first album that I purchased of Coltrane’s was Blue Train. That was my short indoctrination into a genre and a style of music that has greatly effected the music of many musicians today. I am not some expert on Jazz but I do know what I like and this album is one that I have enjoyed listening to. Fans of Coltrane may listen to Black Pearls and not find a lot of the improvisation that he is known for but there is still some there. The music takes on a more mellow tone than some of the later stuff but it is real easy to relax and enjoy.
Sweet Sapphire Blues is an 18 minute jam session that starts nice and upbeat with Red Garland on piano. Coltrane doesn’t really kick in until around 6 minutes into the song. Somewhere around the 10 minute mark Donald Byrd comes in on the trumpet. Somewhere around 14 minutes Paul Chambers works on the base for a little adding his solo to the mix and then Art Taylor has his turn with the drums around 15:20. The song maintains the same tempo throughout and finishes about the same as it begins with just a little twist.
Lover Come Back To Me starts off at a fast tempo and features a lot more improvisation from Coltrane and the others. This one is a lot shorter that Sweet Sapphire Blues but packs a great song into the shorter span.
Black Pearls starts with the horns together with a medium paced tempo making a great harmony. The rest of the song is similar to Sweet Sapphire Blues in the way the artists take turns with the solos.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, New Jersey on 23 May 1958 featuring John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Red Garland (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Taylor (drums)
If you are a Jazz lover, Coltrane fan, or just want something different pick up this album, sit down, and enjoy. There is no better way to relax than to sit down with some great traditional styled Jazz. You can buy this album from Amazon or if you want you can pick it up from eMusic (this can be three of your 50 free songs). Just click on the ads in my sidebar.