John Coltrane – Coltrane Jazz (LP)
Few have left as indelible a mark upon jazz music as John William Coltrane. A distinguished pioneer of free jazz and hard bop, Coltrane regularly walked the line between the mainstream and the underground, both as a bandleader and as a sideman for fellow jazz legends like Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and Dizzy Gillespie. His outstanding influence can be felt from the classic psychedelic rock of Jimi Hendrix, to the Ethio-jazz of Mulatu Astatke, to the experimental madness of Frank Zappa. He has even been canonized in the African Orthodox Church as a saint. Coltrane's 1961 album Coltrane Jazz was the second of his renowned recordings with Atlantic Records as a bandleader, and a preview of the immense critical and commercial success that would follow throughout the 1960s. It was still a year off from his first quartet period, yet Coltrane Jazz featured a powerhouse lineup of session musicians, including Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Cobb, Paul Chambers, and a slew of others. The album contains sharp hard bop takes on standards by Hoagy Carmichael and George Treadwell, but it’s in Coltrane's originals that Coltrane Jazz really shines, among them the cut "Like Sonny", a tribute to his colleague Sonny Rollins, whom Coltrane admired.