Two of the most lauded albums by saxophonist/composer John Coltrane, Giant Steps and My Favorite Things—both released on Atlantic Records nearly 60 years ago—have earned gold status per the standards of the Recording Industry Association of America, having sold more than 500,000 units.
Gold records are, of course, not an honor often bestowed on jazz albums, which makes this certification a testament to Coltrane’s enduring appeal to listeners.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with the John Coltrane catalog and estate over the years, and to be a part of this special milestone,” Mark Pinkus, president of Rhino Entertainment, which oversees the Atlantic catalog, said in a press release. “Both Giant Steps and My Favorite Things are two of the most iconic and significant albums in the history of jazz music, as well as Atlantic Records. Rhino will faithfully continue to honor the legacy of Coltrane so that future generations can enjoy his magic many years to come.”
This has been a big year for Coltrane, more than 50 years after his death in 1967 at the age of 40. The posthumous release of his “lost album,” Both Directions at Once, recorded in 1963, was a major event in the jazz world and beyond. The gold designation of Giant Steps (recorded in May and December 1959, originally released in January 1960) and My Favorite Things (recorded in October 1960, originally released in March 1961) only serves to further reinforce his profound legacy.
“The Coltrane family is thrilled to finally see this day come,” Ravi Coltrane, John’s son, said in the release. “We all love these records dearly. Giant Steps was the record that made me want to be a musician myself. On these recordings, John Coltrane’s mastery of the saxophone combines with a fearless embrace of intuition resulting in a spirit of invention that changed improvised music forever. These recordings were ahead of their time, will never sound old and will always remain elevating and enlightening.”