Giant Steps

COMPOSERS: John Coltrane
LABELS: Atlantic Jazz
ALBUM TITLE: Atlantic Reissues
CATALOGUE NO: 8122-75203-2

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Atlantic Records, which this year celebrates its 50th year, has always been a different kind of jazz label. Co-founded by brothers Nesuhi and Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler and Herb Abramson, it is usually associated with world-conquering rock. But Atlantic was born out of jazz and its vaults contain some of the music’s defining moments. These lavishly annotated selections capture four liberated musicians who each explore the outer limits of jazz without losing sight of its roots.

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The two classic Coltrane albums, particularly Giant Steps, encapsulate bebop but, at the time, signalled the way ahead for modern jazz: blue, complex and invigorating. Coltrane’s treatment of standards in My Favourite Things is widely regarded as a landmark in modal development; his ‘asiatic’ sound on soprano sax revolutionised the instrument’s use in jazz thereafter.