John Coltrane Plays The Blues is culled from the same 1960 sessions that produced My Favorite Things. That fact alone is all you need to know that this is one killer album. Yet there's more. At the time, the saxophonist was playing with what many consider to be his best lineup: drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Steve Davis. Together, the foursome literally made history, as Plays the Blues sits alongside Giant Steps, Coltrane Jazz, My Favorite Things, and Coltrane's Sound - all recorded within the same one-year period - as among the most landmark jazz albums ever committed to tape.
Here, Coltrane and Co. hone to an all-blues format that witness the legend exploring themes with a blues focus unique to this record. The simplicity nearly belies the sophistication present in the harmonic undercurrents. Moreover, the quartet experiments on several songs by having Tyner withdraw from the proceedings, the first occurrence of such a strategy since Coltrane's early Prestige days. Often viewed by some as a distinct project, Plays the Blues is an indelible part of the fabric that is My Favorite Things. Together with Coltrane's Sound, this album counts itself as among what's arguably the finest trio of jazz albums to ever spring from one cohesive session.
This 180g vinyl LP reissue from Vinyl Lovers also boasts a pair of alternate takes of "Blues To Elvin" and "Blues To You" from the same session but not included on the original album.
John Coltrane, tenor & soprano saxophone
McCoy Tyner, piano
Steve Davis, bass
Elvin Jones, drums
- Blues to Elvin
- Blues to Bechet
- Blues to You
- Blues To Elvin (Alternative Take)
- Mr. Day
- Mr. Syms
- Mr. Knight
- Blues To You (Alternative Take)