By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader
TRANE: The legendary John Coltrane has once again taken the spotlight since John Scheinfeld’s highly anticipated film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary began its theatrical run on April 14th of this year. Now, Rhino Records will focus on the revolutionary music the “heavyweight champion” of jazz recorded for Atlantic Records with series of releases.
It all begins on June 9th with the arrival of a new anthology that includes nine tracks selected from recordings the saxophonist made for Atlantic Records between 1959 and 1961. TRANE: THE ATLANTIC COLLECTION will be available on LP, CD and digitally.
The compilation will be followed by mono reissues for five Coltrane studio albums: Giant Steps, Ole’ Coltrane, Coltrane Plays The Blues, Bags & Trane and The Avant-Garde. Each will be available on 180 gram LP and digitally on June 16th, with the mono CD of the classic Giant Steps coming July 7th. These albums were recently issued together as part of Rhino’s boxed set John Coltrane: The Atlantic Years In Mono. The set received critical acclaim in 2016 including five stars from Downbeat which noted, “With no alternate takes and presented verbatim and presented as the albums were originally issued song-by-song, there is certainly a warmth, clarity and a sense of wholeness that can give new fans a fresh way to listen to Coltrane.”
The mono albums and new compilation cover the time when Coltrane —after playing on Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue—was moving away from the life of a sideman and embracing the role of bandleader. The music he recorded at Atlantic features some of his finest work, including the wise blues of “Equinox,” a bright, swinging version of “My Shining Hour,” the exuberant “Giant Steps,” and the hit single “My Favorite Things.”
In the liner notes that accompany TRANE: THE ATLANTIC COLLECTION, author and noted jazz critic Ben Ratliff writes: “You can listen through the 46-minute collection of romantic or purposeful or slightly mysterious music…and get it clearly: the sense of a strikingly original sound and intelligence.”
Coltrane is poised to reach a new audience this year thanks to Chasing Trane. Written and directed by critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld, it is the definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. Some of the film’s notable appearances include, President Bill Clinton, Sonny Rollins and Common, with Coltrane’s own words spoken by Academy Award winner Denzel Washington. Following its theatrical launch in New York, the film will be shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, with additional cities planned.