John Coltrane began his career as a blues player, working in the bands of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Earl Bostic, among others, and returned to the 12-bar form again and again, even as he was revolutionizing jazz by moving beyond the harmonic rules of bop. These six probing blues performances were recorded in 1957 and 1958, a pivotal period in the saxophonist's musical quest. "To listen closely as his playing develops rapidly from session to session," Stuart Kremsky writes in the booklet notes, "is to stand in awe of Coltrane's ferociously absorptive musical intelligence." He plays tenor on five selections, while a sixth affords a rare glimpse at Coltrane's work on alto, his first instrument.
with Pepper Adams, Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, Tommy Flanagan, Red Garland, George Joyner (Jamil Nasser), Earl May, Paul Quinichette, Jerome Richardson, Arthur Taylor, Mal Waldron