John Coltrane: Giant Steps


Giant Steps


John Coltrane (tenor sax)


Giant Steps (Atlantic 1311-2)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Art Taylor (drums).

Composed by John Coltrane


Recorded: New York, May 4, 1959


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Jazzmen call improvisation based on underlying harmonic progressions "running the changes." Coltrane doesn't just run the changes, he dashes through, sprints past, hurdles over and vaults across them. "Giant Steps" is Coltrane's apex, the point at which all ascending lines converged. Never before had anyone played the tenor with such urgency. Yet Coltrane knew he'd reached the limits of this approach. When physicists declared light speed was an absolute, science fiction authors invented warp speed. Likewise, after "Giant Steps" Trane would go down a new track. Verily, as Genesis tells us, "There were giants in the earth in those days."

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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