John Coltrane: Good Bait


Good Bait


John Coltrane (tenor sax)


Soultrane (OJC-CD-021-2 and Prestige 16PCD-4405-2)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax), Paul Chambers (bass), Red Garland (piano), Art Taylor (drums).

Composed by Tadd Dameron


Recorded: Englewood, Cliffs, New Jersey, February 7, 1958


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

This is from Soultrane, one of the first significant Coltrane records that I lived with as a real young player and listener. "Good Bait" was written by Tadd Dameron, who’s from Cleveland, where I’m originally from. My dad played with him. Hearing Coltrane’s incredible, lengthy exploration on “Good Bait” inspired me, and taught me a lot about how I would have to deal with this music, and learn to play the saxophone. It’s a timeless recording that sounds as fresh today as when I was a kid.

As a saxophonist myself, understanding all the things you have to deal with to execute your ideas, I realize that every stage of the way is a different development period, and Coltrane’s experience and journey to that moment in 1958 was intense. He had come up playing Tadd Dameron’s music, playing with Johnny Hodges’s band, Dizzy’s band, Miles’s band, Monk’s band, and he was just starting to form a conception about who he was and how he wanted to present himself in the music. Playing with Thelonious Monk got him to be even more articulate than he was doing on his own. His execution, articulation, rhythm, phrasing and ideas were all one, and his tone was crystallizing—he was fusing together all of the elements of playing music and playing the saxophone. He was a virtuoso on his instrument, and he was able to communicate his ideas in lengthy open solos. “Good Bait” is a prime example of him really stretching out and playing through that piece of music with his own approach.

Reviewer: Joe Lovano

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