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January/February 2007

John Coltrane
Fearless Leader
Prestige

John Coltrane’s most famous recordings as a leader were with his groups for Impulse! (1961-67) and his explorations for Atlantic (1959-60), plus his lone effort for Blue Note, the 1957 classic Blue Train. The six-CD set Fearless Leader (Prestige 30059) has all of Coltrane’s dates as a leader for Prestige from 1957-58, music that had earlier been reissued in the huge 16-CD box The Prestige Recordings. One way or another, this music is well worth acquiring due to such gems as “While My Lady Sleeps,” “Like Someone in Love,” “I Love You,” “Invitation,” “Stardust” and “My Ideal.” Trumpeters Donald Byrd and Wilbur Harden and pianists Red Garland and Mal Waldron also make strong contributions, though veteran collectors may ask if this is really worth acquiring a fourth time.

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Burt Goldblatt

John Coltrane

Originally published in January/February 2007
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