Label: The Electric Recording Company ERC 059
AAA 100% Analogue – 350 Copies Limited Edition – Mastered from the First Generation Analogue Master Tapes
In 1959 John Coltrane recorded “Giant Steps”, sending shock waves through the jazz world which can still be felt to this day. Balancing the intense creativity of bebop and the soulful ferocity of hard bop, “Giant Steps” captures its audience from the very first note and refuses to let go. Bringing “Giant Steps” to the studio unrehearsed, Coltrane gave the audibility of improvisation enough space to blossom into a kind of raw magic and showcase the talents of pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor who excel alongside Coltrane’s sometimes manic pace.
Marking a substantial turning point in Coltrane‘s personal life, the energy within this masterpiece radiates triumph, renewal and ambition.
Coltrane’s groundbreaking Atlantic Records debut. This 1959 release became Trane’s most influential album and helped bring jazz to the mainstream.
Forty years after its release, it still remains one of the all-time great jazz albums. Features such jazz greats as Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Cobb and Art Taylor.
” Giant Steps is a notable release for at least two reasons. First, it is, to my mind, the best—and certainly the most important—of the 14 jazz albums ERC has reissued so far. It is Coltrane’s decisive break from sideman (which previously he had always been, even when recording albums under his own name) to leader, and—not unrelated—the first album for which he composed all the tracks. Six of the album’s seven tracks were recorded in May 1959, just two weeks after ‘Trane’s work on Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, yet his approach to the music here marks a dramatic departure. Kind of Blue was the pinnacle of Miles’s experiment with modal jazz, where changes are built on scales, not chords; most of the pieces on Giant Steps, especially the two most innovative—the title track and “Countdown”—were built on chords: chords tucked within chords, chords stacked on top of chords, chords in phenomenally fast progressions.
The second reason this Giant Steps is a notable release is that it comes from the Atlantic Records vaults, which audiophile labels haven’t yet scoured. Rhino Records took the deepest dive several years ago, releasing a boxed set, on LP and CD, of all seven of Coltrane’s Atlantic albums and, a bit later, all 10 of Ornette Coleman’s Atlantics, both collections recorded in 1959–61.
Those Rhinos sounded pretty good, but nothing like this ERC, which sounds simply stunning. Coltrane’s tenor sax pops out of the soundstage, 3D, brimming of brass, billowing with air: You can practically see him blowing into the mouthpiece. The piano’s tones, chords, and overtones are perfectly clear, as are Chambers’s bass walks—which you cannot say about any other reissue of this album. The drums are a bit recessed (as they were, I suspect, on the original tapes), though all the pieces of the drumkit, and all the rhythms within rhythms, are clear and percussive.” from – Revinylization #30: Coltrane’s Giant Steps from the Electric Recording Company
Fred Kaplan | Jun 9, 2022, Stereophile
Cut in True Mono directly from the original dedicated mono master tapes on ERC’s 1965 Lyrec all valve cutting system.
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