Analog Planet Rated 10/11 Music, 9/11 Sonics!
TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 4.5/5 Sonics in the January 2023 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
On September 15, 1957, John Coltrane went into Rudy Van Gelder's living room studio in Hackensack, New Jersey and recorded his first great masterpiece: Blue Train. It would be the legendary saxophonist's sole album as a leader for Blue Note, a locomotive five-track album fueled by the bluesy title track that featured a dynamic six-piece band with Lee Morgan on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Kenny Drew on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums. To mark the 65th anniversary of the album's recording, Blue Train will be released in two special editions as part of Blue Note's acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series: a 1-LP mono pressing of the original album and a 2-LP stereo pressing of Blue Train: The Complete Masters which includes a second disc of alternate and incomplete takes, four of which have never been released before, and none of which have been available previously on vinyl. The 2-LP set comes with a bound booklet featuring session photos by Francis Wolff and an essay by Coltrane expert Ashley Kahn.
Both Tone Poet Vinyl Editions were produced by Joe Harley, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original analog master tapes, pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI, and packaged in deluxe gatefold tip-on jackets.
The good folks behind Blue Note's Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue series have crafted not one but two releases to celebrate the 65th anniversary of this most beloved Trane album - namely, separate 180g 1LP mono and 180g 2LP stereo editions. This likely raises a slight dilemma for some of us as to which version of we should buy... the good news is, both the mono and stereo editions of Blue Train are indeed excellent, each of them offering a different and distinct listening experience... If you aren't a Coltrane completist like I am, or simply want a more affordable entry point to this historical album, then grab the 1LP mono edition. Either way - mono or stereo - you won't go wrong. These two new Blue Note Tone Poet editions of Blue Train offer great-sounding presentations of this truly legendary jazz recording.
Released in January of 1958, Blue Train marks a significant step forward for Coltrane as a composer (four of the five tracks are his originals). With a swinging, all-world rhythm section of pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe JOnes, the leader's rich three-horn harmonies with trumpeter Lee Morgan and trombonist Curtis Fuller are particularly effective on the stirring title track and the harmonically complex 'Moments Notice.' While Morgan's solos are crackling with youthful intensity, as on the hard boppish 'Locomotive,' Fuller provides a mellow counterbalance. And the leader's 'sheets of sound' approach portends things to come. His wistful reading of the standard 'I'm Old Fashioned' is also a precursor to his sublime Ballads album of 1963.
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered from Original Analog Tapes
- Produced by Joe Harley
- Pressed at RTI
- Deluxe Gatefold Tip-On Jacket
|John Coltrane||tenor sax|
|"Philly" Joe Jones||drums|
- Blue Train
- Moment's Notice
- I'm Old Fashioned
- Lazy Bird