Blue Train (2014 Reissue)

Vinyl LP

With 1957's Blue Train, John Coltrane not only firmly established his own voice on the tenor saxophone, but also proved his abilities as a bandleader and composer. The musicians on Blue Train, hand-picked by Coltrane himself, play superbly, not only as individuals, but also as a cohesive unit - a rare occurence in an era where 'all-star' ensembles would come together for one session, then disband just as quickly. Nineteen-year-old trumpeter Lee Morgan spins bop lines in a warm tone, belying his age with his extraordinary playing, while drummer Philly Joe Jones and bassist Paul Chambers keeps the Blue Train running with impressive agility.

Two of Coltrane's compositions here, Moment's Notice and Lazy Bird, contain the seeds of harmonic exploration to be found in his later work. At this stage of his career, Coltrane was still occupied with blowing over increasingly challenging chord changes. His unique tone could be warm and sweet or sharp and insistent, but is always amazingly expressive. Throughout this revered album, Coltrane packs more emotion into one phrase than most artists are capable of in a whole tune.


Side A
1. Blue Train
2. Moment's Notice

Side B
1. Locomotion
2. I'm Old Fashioned
3. Lazy Bird