Saturday, January 19, 2013

John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings


© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.


“In less than five years from his debut with Miles Davis, Coltrane moved from virtual obscurity to acclaim as the tenor saxophone innovator of the decade. With his own quartet, he became a hero of the free jazz movement, although he had relatively little in common with other figures in the move­ment. By 1965 he had become a cult idol.”
- Doug Ramsey, Jazz author, critic and blogger

''… [John Coltrane] was a very good musician. But he was young; he hadn't perfected his style. That began when he was with Miles Davis. With Miles, it was obvious that he had gone deep into applying harmonies over standard chord changes. He became a master at superimposing secondary dominants over standard songs and his own compositions. He developed a sound that was original and personal, and an approach to rhythmical improvisation that I had never heard before. He introduced innovations in harmony, melody, rhythm, form and sound that influenced a lot of people.”
- Yusef Lateef, Jazz saxophonist

"I can't explain anything,” he said. "It's all in the music. Come to the club and hear the music." 

It's all in the music.

- John Coltrane to Doug Ramsey

It’s a banner day whenever the editorial staff at JazzProfiles has the opportunity to present more of the writings of Doug Ramsey on the blog.

For over fifty years, Doug has produced some of the most insightful and well-written work on the music and its makers in the canon of Jazz literature.

Not surprisingly, then, when we looked for information on John Coltrane’s formative years before he achieved iconic status in the 1960s, we found it all in the introduction that Doug wrote for the CD boxed-set entitled John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings.

We asked Doug for his permission to represent that essay here and he graciously offered his consent as did Nick Phillips who is the Vice President, Catalog and Jazz A&R for Concord Music Group, the current owner of the Prestige copyrights.

Perhaps one day, the powers-that-be will understand the value of Doug’s many writings on the subject of Jazz and offer to catalogue and house them for posterity.

Until that time, Doug keeps adding to that invaluable legacy with almost-daily contributions to his blog.

You can find a link to his site, as well as, links for ordering copies of John Coltrane: The Prestige Recordings through Concord and Amazon at the conclusion of this feature.


© -Doug Ramsey/Concord Records; used with permission, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“John Coltrane: In The Fifties”

John Coltrane died at the age of 40 on July 17, 1967. A month or so later, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was my guest on a radio pro­gram. Asked to re­flect on his saxo­phone partner in the Miles Davis sextet of the late 1950s, Adderley said that it might be too soon to try to talk about Coltrane, but that he would try. Hear­ing his reply on tape is still an emotional experience. A man known for his vol­ubility finds himself unable to speak.

"We were very close. I learned more from him than from anybody." Julian's voice trails away as he finishes the sentence. He can be heard swallowing hard as he blinks, looks away, and says, almost inaudibly as his voice breaks, "That's it, that's all," and waves me off.

That is not all, of course. There was no further opportunity to take up the question with Cannonball. But what he learned from Coltrane can be heard in Adderley's playing from the time when they worked with Davis to the end of his life.

Cannonball's music was enriched and strengthened. The Coltrane component of his playing can be heard forming as early as July 1958 in Davis's Newport Jazz Festival recordings on Columbia, blos­soming six months later in radio broadcasts recently issued on the French label Jazz Band Records, and full blown in the Sixties on pieces like "Nippon Soul" on Riverside and "Fun" from his Mercy, Mercy album on Capitol.

Adderley's study of Coltrane gave him greater complexity and daring, but Cannonball remained Cannonball. His control of his mature style was firm. Other saxophonists, veterans and novices alike, were submerged, overwhelmed, their musical personalities subsumed by the most pervasive saxo­phone influence since Charlie Parker. A generation of tenor saxophonists was held captive by Coltrane's power, the force of his ideas, his departures from the strict guidelines of Parker's bebop, his sheer virtuosi­ty. When, in the mid-1970s, a young tenor player named Scott Hamilton emerged in the tradition of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster, he was viewed as an anomaly, a product of the Coltrane era who had somehow escaped or ignored the Coltrane imperative.

This compilation contains virtually everything John Coltrane recorded as a leader or sideman for Prestige (and its New Jazz subsidiary) from May 7, 1956 to December 26, 1958, a period encompassed by his membership in the Miles Davis quintet and sextet. In a field notable for early and rapid growth of musicians, it is all but impossible to find docu­mentation of another career to match the pace and intensity of his artistic development during those 32 months.

Only his recordings with the Davis band are not included here. They are all to be found in Miles Davis: Chronicle, the complete Prestige recordings of that artist from 1951 to 1956 (PCD-012-2).


John Coltrane was born in 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, a town of 4,500 in the south of the state. He grew up in High Point, a small city 75 miles to the north. His father, a tailor, played violin, clarinet, and ukulele and taught John the essentials of music. At 12, the boy was playing clarinet in school and learned the E-flat horn. When the family moved to Philadelphia in 1944, he had been playing alto saxophone for about three years. He studied at the Ornstein School of Music and the Granoff Studios in Philadelphia. During his stint in the ser­vice in 1945 and 1946, he was in a Navy band in Hawaii.

Before he was 21, Coltrane was on alto in bands headed by King Kolax and Joe Webb. He adapted to the tenor saxophone to work with alto player and blues singer Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson in 1947 and 1948. Later, he used alto or tenor as needed in bands led by Jimmy Heath, Howard McGhee, Earl Bostic, Dizzy Gillespie, and a handful of barely remembered rhythm and blues outfits. Coltrane’s first recording was in the saxophone section of Gillespie's big band in 1949, on alto, for Capitol Records. His first commercially recorded solo, on tenor, was on Gillespie's "We Love to Boogie" on the Dee Gee label in 1951.

With Johnny Hodges in 1953 and 1954, and with Davis and Thelonious Monk from 1955 to 1960, Coltrane was exclusively on tenor. (The only excep­tion was when he picked up the alto for a 1958 Gene Ammons Prestige session, included in this col­lection.) In the early 1960s Coltrane added the soprano saxophone, inspiring a jazz resurgence of that instrument.

Yusef Lateef, an early admirer of Coltrane, remembers him first as "a humble human being, memorably so, because those moral fibers have tran­scendent being. He was a very gentle, kind person." Six years older than Coltrane, Lateef was with Dizzy Gillespie when he first heard the young saxophonist in 1948.


''He was a very good musician. But he was young; he hadn't perfected his style. That began when he was with Miles Davis. With Miles, it was obvious that he had gone deep into applying harmonies over standard chord changes. He became a master at superimposing secondary dominants over standard songs and his own compositions. He developed a sound that was original and personal, and an approach to rhythmical improvisation that I had never heard before. He introduced innovations in harmony, melody, rhythm, form and sound that influenced a lot of people.”

Lateef admires Coltrane unreservedly. He says that he finds value in the music from every period of Coltrane's odyssey, including the mystical search that he seemed to be on at the end of his life, when Miles Davis and other Coltrane admirers found his playing pointless and repetitious.

Andrew White, a Washington, D.C. tenor saxo­phonist and musicologist, has for years run a Coltrane cottage industry. White has transcribed hundreds of Coltrane solos and published them in a ten-volume set, The Works of John Coltrane. The material is divided into four creative periods. Saxophonists and other musicians from all over the world seek out White's transcriptions and analyses of Coltrane's music as they work through the chal­lenges set by his recorded solos. "After all," says James Moody, one of White's customers, "the best way to find out what somebody's doing is to look and see how they do it. And when the changes are coming every two beats, what musicians now call 'Coltrane changes,' you have to study them. You can't wing it."

Moody, an established star five years before Coltrane's name was generally known, first heard Coltrane before the Miles Davis period and says Trane was playing like Sonny Stitt and Dexter Gordon. "It was hipper than that," Moody says, "but that was the sound. He was already exploring new avenues of chord changes. I heard him in Cleveland playing alto saxophone with a bandleader name Gay Crosse, and I said, 'damn, who was that cat?' Trane was smokin'. He had another kind of drive. He sounded different from Charlie Parker and Dexter and everybody. Then, later when he got into what they called sheets of sound, he gave us all a hell of a saxophone lesson to work on for a long time to come."

The "sheets of sound" aspect of Coltrane's play­ing was alluded to by Ira Gitler in the liner notes for Traneing In in 1957, when he enthusiastically wrote of the "... excruciatingly exhilarating intensity of rapid, exigent runs with their residual harmonic impact/' Later, Gitler actually applied the phrase to Trane's solos in discussing "Russian Lullaby" from the 1958 Soultrane album.

Not all critics were as admiring as Gitler. John S. Wilson of The New York Times wrote that Coltrane "often plays his tenor sax as if he were determined to blow it apart, but his desperate attacks almost invariably lead nowhere." Philip Larkin, the British poet, traditional jazz enthusiast, and cranky detrac­tor of modern jazz, wrote upon Coltrane's death, "If he was boring, he was enormously boring. If he was ugly, he was massively ugly. To squeak and gibber for sixteen bars is nothing; Coltrane could do it for sixteen minutes, stunning the listener into a kind of hypnotic state__"

Possibly considering it praise, The New Yorker's Whitney Balliett wrote that Coltrane proved "that ugliness, like life, can be beautiful."


Some musicians came later than others to what James Moody calls the saxophone lesson. Bill Perkins, of whom Stan Getz once said, "Perk is play­ing more than any of us," was in the 1950s an admired and warmly individual musical offspring of Lester Young. His solos on the classic album, 2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West are among the most lyri­cal tenor playing of the decade. In recent years, his work has had a harder edge, more dynamism, and a complex approach to harmony. Perkins credits the change to a firmer intellectual understanding of the achievements not only of Coltrane, but of Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker. His remarks are interest­ing for their insight into the change Coltrane's example worked on a successful veteran musician.

"It's just in the last ten years that John Coltrane has had a tremendous effect on my thinking about music," Perkins told me in early 1991. "Before that, I enjoyed his music peripherally and had great respect for him from the time I first heard him live."

That was in 1956, when the Davis quintet played Jazz City on Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. Perkins said the in-person impact of Coltrane's playing was enormous, as, ultimately, was his example of diligence.

"It felt like he was struggling. His phrases were short and chopped, whereas Miles was smooth and flowing, melodically. He was like an engine that was sputtering. But he would get some things off that were utterly remarkable. It came out in bursts. I kept listening. A couple of years later, he had made it all come together.

"The experience was punctuated by the fact that I spoke to him in the back room of the club that night. I was impressed with what a gentleman he was and how helpful he was to me about mouth­pieces and reeds, the usual saxophonist talk. He was studying out of Nicolas Slonimsky's* book, a the­saurus of scales. I looked at it and it didn't mean anything to me. Even today, I go to lesser books on scales because Slonimsky requires tremendous perse­verance. It's strictly dry mathematics. John went through it and found scales he liked, maybe one out of a hundred that would work for him. He did a lot of study. He was a serious man.

[*Born in Russia in 1894, Slonimsky was active at the Eastman School and later in Massachusetts and California; composer, conductor, teacher, author of deeply difficult theoretical works on music.]

"Slonimsky was on the Tonight Show a couple of years ago, by the way, and said Coltrane had made him famous. People all over the world bought his book on the basis of Coltrane's use of it. Slonimsky said his real intention was to do a mathematical run-through of every possible scale. But he was being self-deprecating; he's a great humorist."

I suggested that many people have accused Coltrane of doing a mathematical run-through of every possible scale. No, Perkins said. Emphatically, no.

"Personally, I get tremendous poetry out of his playing. He had a direction. It was so formidable, so powerful that you feel it today in his music, 20 and 30 years later. I have to say that it's only in the last four or five years that I've been able to grasp the harmonic content of what he was doing. Until then, I hadn't even gotten into scales developing out of chords. That approach frees you. Now, it makes total sense to me and, obviously, to a whole genera­tion of younger players. I try not to imitate; it's too late for me to do that because the influences are all in place. But his sound on the tenor saxophone was so powerful, it's had its effect."


Shortly after Coltrane died, the Assembly, the lower house of the California legislature, unani­mously approved a resolution honoring a man it called "a musical genius," certainly a popular char­acterization of Coltrane. It is not, however, necessar­ily an accurate description or the most fitting trib­ute. In a stimulating 1978 essay that accompanied an earlier reissue of some of the recordings in this compendium, Andrew White took a clear-eyed approach to the proposition that Coltrane was a genius. Writing from the perspective of his exhaus­tive Coltrane scholarship, White implied that to assume that Coltrane's achievements were the spon­taneous products of genius (or, in some circles, of divinity) is to downgrade or ignore the diligence that made his innovations possible. It is a much greater recognition of the man, White suggested, to acknowledge him as "a very diligent and studious player"... “an extremely gifted player who matched his talent with equal amounts of hard work and of self-indulgence."

James Moody and many other musicians recall stories of friends who visited the Coltrane home to find Trane practicing. His typical greeting procedure was to point out the refrigerator and the bathroom and return to his labors with the saxophone, leaving the visitor to entertain himself. In Miles, his autobi­ography, Miles Davis tells of Coltrane often playing three sets in a club, then practicing in his hotel room for three hours while the other band members were out winding down from the night's work.

Davis had wrestled with his drug addiction and won. But his great 1950s quintet was populated with sidemen strung out on heroin. Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and Coltrane caused him continual concern because of the laxity, bizarre behavior, and heavy indebtedness brought about by their addic­tion. He fired Coltrane in 1956 for problems caused by drug and alcohol abuse and sent him home to Philadelphia to pull himself together. A couple of months later, Trane was back, playing beautifully but often nodding off on the stand. In 1957, Davis again fired Coltrane, along with Philly Joe.

Having been dismissed by his leader because of the undependability that grew out of his narcotics addiction, there were two momentous events in Coltrane's life, one a redemption, the other an epiphany. Shocked by the firing and disgusted with himself, he stayed at his mother's house in Philadelphia and painfully kicked the drug habit, cold turkey. (Davis did Coltrane three great favors. He hired him, he fired him, and he gave him his first soprano saxophone.)

About shedding his addiction, Coltrane told Ralph J. Gleason in 1961: "I went through a person­al crisis, you know, and I came out of it. I felt so for­tunate to have come through it successfully, that all I wanted to do, if I could, would be to play music that would make people happy. That's basically all I want to do. But so many other things come in along the way and I often forget that. I let technical things surround me so often that I kind of lose sight. I can't keep them both together, you know. Maybe, if I think of it more, I may be able to find a way, a path to follow...."

Then came the epiphany that put him on the path. Trane began a six-month association with Thelonious Monk.


The conventional wisdom is that during their long engagement at the Five Spot Cafe in New York, Monk brought out in Coltrane the qualities that took him from accomplishment to greatness. There is little reason to doubt the conventional wisdom. The gift, the dedication, the hard work and study, the searching that had the qualities of a mythic quest; all of it coalesced that summer. In the heat of this compressed development, suddenly those sec­ondary dominants Yusef Lateef talks about began to be applied with great complexity in longer and longer solos, played with increasing confidence.

Monk fed Coltrane’s capacity for vertical impro­visation, for exploring all of the possibilities in a chord, for organized flows of notes so crowded it seemed incredible that they were coming from one instrument. Indeed, one note at a time wasn't enough for Coltrane, and he said that Monk was the one who showed him how to make two or three at once, a feature technically known as multiphonics that he used increasingly in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Otherwise, Coltrane was sketchy in his description of what he gained from Monk, except for his celebrated paean in a Down Beat interview in 1960:

"Working with Monk brought me close to a musical architect of the highest order. I felt I learned from him in every way—through the senses, theo­retically, technically. I would talk to Monk about musical problems and he would sit at the piano and show me the answers by playing them. I could watch him play and find out the things I wanted to know. Also, I could see a lot of things I didn't know at the time."

From at least the time he joined Miles Davis in 1955, Coltrane was a player of extraordinary con­centration and intensity. After Monk, the intensity took on a Monkish aspect that had as much to do with improvising on themes as with using harmonic changes. That approach was some of what Coltrane absorbed during his half-year with Monk. It was a method that would meld into the improvisation on modes and scales that Davis was to perfect in his sextet from 1958 through 1960 and that was to have so profound an impact on Coltrane. But in early 1958, Coltrane's primary legacy from the Monk rela­tionship seemed to have been assurance. All but swaggering, he moves through songs, at any tempo, with none of the frustration and groping sensed in some of his early solos with the Davis quintet.

As for those long solos, objects of criticism and even derision, Coltrane had ambivalent feelings about them. He told Ralph Gleason, "...if I'm going to take an hour to say something I can say in ten minutes, maybe I'd better say it in ten minutes then have another horn there and get something else.... I wanted to expand myself musically because I've been soloing for years, and that's about all, and I feel a need to learn more about the production of music and expression and how to do things musi­cally. I could really go on just playing like I am now, I mean I enjoy it, playing that long. It does me a lot of good to play until I don't feel like playing any more, though I've found out I don't say that much more."


Friends and musical contemporaries inevitably remember Coltrane for his warmth and gentleness, his musical gift, and his hard work and study even through periods of ill health and destructive habits. Others heard or read into his music things that made him a symbol of their yearnings. The Vietnam war and the black struggle in American were at their most intense during the years immediately preced­ing and following the death of Coltrane.

The legend of Coltrane created since 1967 exists alongside his music as if on a separate plane. It is of a divinely inspired mystic with an appropriately mystical name, Ohnedaruth, who ultimately tran­scended music to deliver to the world a spiritual message of love and salvation. In the late 1960s and early 70s, I saw in the pads of youngsters in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and the French Quarter of New Orleans shrines with the centerpiece a print of the cover photograph from Coltrane's album A Love Supreme. Coltrane became a convenient object of the search for heroes, for martyrs. In San Francisco in the early 1980s, the One Mind Temple Evolutionary Church of Christ distributed to schools loaves of bread bearing Coltrane's picture. It was called the daily bread. The church's leader said his congregation saw Coltrane as "the will of God, the incarnation truth."

In light of the comfort thus gained, it may be of no real importance beyond the satisfaction of accu­racy that (except for his very real religious convic­tion toward the end of his life) during his 12 years of living fame all that Coltrane said he aspired to was to be the best musician he could become. He told Ralph Gleason in that 1961 interview that when it came to opinions on virtually anything, he inevitably took a middle position, usually saying nothing. He told Ralph that all of his conviction and aggressiveness was expressed in his playing.

Coltrane's solos had grandeur, passion, frenzy, conviction, fervor, inner peace. People seize upon such attributes in art and transmute them into emo­tional and intellectual capital that they can spend to satisfy their own needs. It is a tribute to the power of music and a commentary on the human condi­tion that after Coltrane died he became the metaphoric representative of a range of concerns rooted in politics, class and ethnic aspirations, longings for faith, searches for ideologies.

The legend created disciples. Many of them were saxophonists who chose as their entry point in music the arena of freedom from the conventions of harmony, rhythm, and form in which Coltrane was searching during his final years. Lacking their idol's encyclopedic musical knowledge, his work ethic, his capacity for painstaking study and practice, they thrashed about in imitation of the playing of his free period. Some worked through the engulfing influence of Coltrane to develop individual means of expression. Others continue to flail.


For all of his innovations, his speed and tech­nique, his harmonic and rhythmic mastery, in the final analysis the most gripping aspect of Coltrane's playing was its vocal quality, its incredibly human sound. Most laymen who love Coltrane's playing wouldn't know a secondary dominant from a rim shot; his music pulls at them because it speaks to them. During the period of searching and growth represented by the recordings in this collection, he sustained an effusion of humanity and warmth. By December 1958, when his Prestige connection ended ("Time After Time" was the ultimate Prestige track), the "sheets of sound" phase was coming up. There are hints of its development in places in these recordings: strongly in "Little Melonae," as an example, and, most emphatically, in "Lover.”

In his remarkable blues solo on "By the Numbers” Coltrane both affirms his roots and announces a new direction, making harmonic leaps more daring than anything he attempted on either take of the August 1957 blues variously titled "Slowtrane" and "Trane's Slo Blues.” By the time of "Bahia," in late 1958, he was running out of patience with the standard song form as a vehicle for improvisation. His energies were increasingly directed into modal and scalar channels that would lead him to some of the most expansive and, ulti­mately, mysterious creative expression in all of jazz. "Bahia" and "Goldsboro Express" present Coltrane still working within the song form, and he practical­ly explodes it. In the ballads of the period, he caress­es the melodies and embellishes the chords as if preparing to bid them a reluctant farewell.

In an interview on Swedish radio shortly before he left Miles Davis for the last time, Coltrane was asked about charges by critics that his music was "unbeautiful" and angry. "Do you feel angry?" the interviewer asked.

"No, I don't," Coltrane replied. "Maybe it sounds angry because I'm trying so many things at one time. I haven't sorted them out. I have a whole bag of things I'm trying to work through and get the one essential. There are some set things that I know, some harmonic devices that will take me out of the ordinary path if I use them. But I'm not familiar enough with them yet to take the one single line through them. So I play all of them, trying to accli­mate my ear so I can hear.

"Tonewise, I would like to be able to produce a more beautiful sound, but now I'm primarily inter­ested in trying to work what I know down into a more lyrical line —That's what I mean by beauti­ful... so that it can be more easily understood."

Coltrane was asked how the association with Davis had influenced his style. His answer was typi­cally generous.

"It has led me into most of the things I'm doing now. I've been so free here, that almost anything I want to try, I'm welcome to do it. The freedom has helped me to experiment."

A couple of stories about Miles and Coltrane on the stand apply to the freedom principle. On one occasion, irritated by the long bombardment of a tenor solo, Davis asked Coltrane why he went on at such length.

"It took that long to get it all in," said Coltrane, an answer that satisfied Miles. Another time, anoth­er marathon solo, another Davis question about duration, another Coltrane answer: "Sometimes, I just don't seem to be able to stop."

"You might try taking the horn out of your mouth," Davis said, apparently good-naturedly; with Miles, you're never quite sure.


Coltrane's idioms and innovations of the 1950s now flow as a primary current of the mainstream of music. Even casual listeners can respond to the incandescence and human feeling in his work. But in pieces like "Black Pearls" and 'The Believer" there are strings of sixteenth notes, complete with sec­ondary dominants, ripped off with such precision and passion that it is not difficult to understand why Coltrane's music seemed forbidding to laymen first hearing it, let alone to other saxophonists. There had never been anything like it.

Finally, of course, looking for what he described in his final years as a "universal sound," Coltrane set aside the standard song in favor of approaches that freed him from the strictures of traditional forms. In light of the bursting force and rushing ideas to be heard here, it was probably inevitable that he would have to work outside the song form. But it was the very struggle against containment by the pieces he played that resulted in the tension that contributes so greatly to the attraction of the work of his middle period. Even in the supreme relaxation of a ballad like "I See Your Face Before Me," there is a certain impatience and sense of urgency as he begins to rummage through the chords for possibilities.

In less than five years from his debut with Miles Davis, Coltrane moved from virtual obscurity to acclaim as the tenor saxophone innovator of the decade. With his own quartet, he became a hero of the free jazz movement, although he had relatively little in common with other figures in the move­ment. By 1965 he had become a cult idol. Following the coherence and spiritual peak of his 1964 album A Love Supreme, he moved deeper into personal and musical mysticism. His performances began to be dominated by percussion. He took up chanting.

His great quartet with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison dissolved. Coltrane was often surrounded by sidemen who were not qualified to be in his company. His music had virtually become pure energy. For the most part, it was impenetrable. Nonetheless, he was still capable of focusing. As late as February of 1967, in a duo album of free music with the drummer Rashied Ali, his playing had astounding clarity and power, and the lyricism he mentioned in the interview in Sweden.

When the last of the sessions in the album at hand were recorded, Coltrane had ascended to a level of artistic development attained by few musi­cians. He had rejoined Davis in that incredible sex­tet with Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. The influence of the concept made real in the Kind of Blue album was to set Coltrane on a course that took him to "Giant Steps," "My Favorite Things," "A Love Supreme," and the search for further revelation that he was on when he died.

To those who worship Trane as a burning prophet, I commend his playing of the second half of the 1950s for its humor and humanity; to the instrumentalists who think that music started with Coltrane and that Coltrane started with freedom, for its discipline; and to listeners in search of agony, for its lyricism and beauty.

In 1962, I asked John Coltrane for an interview. He declined.

"I can't explain anything,” he said. "It's all in the music. Come to the club and hear the music." 

It's all in the music.

- Doug Ramsey

Doug Ramsey is a longtime annotator, reviewer, and observer of the jazz scene. He is the author of Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music and Some of Its Makers (University of Arkansas Press; 1989). This book also includes Doug's Coltrane/Prestige essay. More recently, Doug authored TAKE FIVE: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond [Seattle: Parkside, 2005].

Doug’s blog can be located at http://www.rifftides.com/

Here’s the link to the Amazon page for ordering the Coltrane/Prestige set:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Prestige-Recordings-John-Coltrane/dp/B000000ZC3/.

And you’ll find the Coltrane/Prestige set on the Concord Music Group site via this link: http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/The-Prestige-Recordings/.

The following video montage features cover art from John’s Prestige recordings and photographs of John set to Time After Time, the last tune he recorded for the label. Red Garland is on piano, Paul Chambers is the bassist and Art Taylor is on drums.