September 23rd, 2010
John Coltrane was born on this day in 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. To honor him on what would be his 84th birthday, I thought he should be featured here.
Unfortunately, Coltrane passed away at the young age of 40, but his legacy as one of the great jazz innovators was cemented in his relatively short recording and performing career. He played tenor and soprano saxophone with many jazz legends, including Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, and Dizzy Gillespie, and recorded on some of the most famous jazz albums of all time. Examples include Blue Train (1957), Soultrane (1958), Giant Steps (1960), and A Love Supreme (1965), all released under his name, and also Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (1959). On the widely acclaimed Kind of Blue, Coltrane played tenor saxophone as a member of the famous Miles Davis Sextet that included Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, and Wynton Kelly or Bill Evans on piano.
When you consider the inventiveness of John Coltrane’s improvisation and the landmark albums on which he played, it is an understatement to say that his catalog is a must-own for any jazz enthusiast.
In keeping with the theme of this web site, I have posted pictures of early CD pressings of three classic Coltrane albums below — Blue Train, Soultrane, and A Love Supreme. The majority of Coltrane’s works on Blue Note, Prestige, Atlantic, and Impulse! were first released on CD in Japan in the 1980s. The three CDs shown below were released in Japan between 1984 and 1987.
The original Japanese CD issue of John Coltrane Blue Train (Blue Note, catalog number CP35-3088). This disc was pressed by Toshiba-EMI, and the matrix code is “CP35-3088 1A1”. It is noted above the “JASRAC” symbol at 6 o’clock that this disc was issued in 1984. This CD bears the popular “black-triangle” label design used in the 1980s by Capitol-EMI in Japan and is rather difficult to find.
The original Japanese CD issue of John Coltrane Soultrane (Prestige, catalog number VDJ-1502). This disc was pressed by JVC. As noted next to the “JASRAC” symbol at 9 o’clock, this disc was issued in 1986.
The original Japanese CD issue of John Coltrane A Love Supreme (MCA/Impulse!, catalog number 32XD-595). This disc was pressed by Toshiba-EMI, and the matrix code is “32XD-595 1M TO”. As noted in the orange section at 6 o’clock, this disc was issued in 1987. Despite the “crosshair” motif, this MCA/Impulse! issue is not considered a Target CD.