"I was the engineer on the recording sessions and I also made the masters for the original LP issues of these albums. Since the advent of the CD, other people have been making the masters. Mastering is the final step in the process of creating the sound of the finished product. Now, thanks to the folks at the Concord Music Group who have given me the opportunity to remaster these albums, I can present my versions of the music on CD using modern technology. I remember the sessions well, I remember how the musicians wanted to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks. Today, I feel strongly that I am their messenger.”
—Rudy Van Gelder
From 1955, the year he came to prominence with Miles Davis’s first "great quintet,” the legendary tenor saxophonist John Coltrane (1926-1967) recorded with only one guitar player: the superbly versatile Kenny Burrell (b. 1931). In March 1958—the pair joined by the crack rhythm section of pianist (and Burrell’s fellow Detroiter) Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb (the latter two Coltrane’s colleagues at the time with the Miles Davis sextet)—got together to cut the five tunes herein for New Jazz. The result is part hard-bop, part blowing session, and part tuneful bebop, with one very special intimate dialogue between tenor and guitar on "Why Was I Born?” the only duo recording Coltrane ever essayed with a chordal instrument. Throughout Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, the parts add up to a thoroughly absorbing whole.