Artist: John Coltrane
Title: Standard Coltrane
SACD Release Date: September 10, 2002
Original Release Date: July 11, 1958
Format: Hybrid SACD
Label: Analogue Productions
John Coltrane's Standard Coltrane is a fabulous album. In addition to the content of the album the Analogue Productions release sounds spectacular. When listening to this album you can picture in your head exactly where the musicians were standing during the recording session. Each player's instrument is separated very well. My only complaint is that Coltrane's Sax mainly comes out of the left speaker and after a long listening session I sometimes wish his sax was more centered. Of course this would take away from the great visual the album gives you of where the players were during the recording session so I'll take the recording the way it is. The first track Don't Take Your Love From Me is a great slow saxophone song. Coltrane's sax sounds superb and smooth. This is a very relaxing song and is a pretty cool way to ease into the album. The opening notes of the song have me hooked every time. This is one of those CDs that is often in my CD player for a week or two. The second track I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You) picks up the pace compared to the first track. There is a lot of piano in this song and Coltrane plays his sax a lot faster. The first two songs aren't real cohesive together, but they are great songs nonetheless.
Spring Is Here is the longest song on the album at ten minutes and twenty one seconds. This song sounds more big band-ish to me and flows naturally from the second song. The best part of the song is shortly after the opening Coltrane starts running with some speedy sax notes and really shows some talent. There is also a really good bass solo towards the end of the song that is a must-listen-to part even if you want to skip it because of the length of the song. This song sounds great as well and really showcases the SACD platform together with the Analogue Productions mastering quality. The guys really know how to re-issue material. I suggest purchasing the disc even if you don't have an SACD player because the CD layer will sound spectacular on a standard Redbook player as well. Fortunately your computer or music server will rip this redbook CD layer and sound better than a standard CD player / transport. I used iTunes to convert the music to uncompressed AIFF files. I also make sure Sound enhancer and sound check are disabled and error correction enabled. The final song on the album is Invitation. It is much more similar to the first song in that it is very mellow. Coltrane's sax is very prominent with some piano and a drum beat in the background. This song is great when the volume is turned up because it has a wide range of sound from a quiet sax to Coltrane pushing it a little bit and almost taking the song to another level. I think this song would be better placed between the first and second. If this were done the whole album would sound very organized and cohesive and end with a "bang." However, this doesn't detract from the quality of the content and the acoustics. If your looking for a couple slow songs and a couple faster songs on one great sounding disc then this is the one to get.
Recommended: If you like slow songs, the first and last songs will be your favorites. If you are into faster Jazz then the middle two will be your preferred selections. iTunes only offers Spring Is Here as an individual song download, but MusicGiants offers everything from one song to all four in their HD Stereo format. The best move is to purchase the complete album and enjoy whole performance how it was meant to be enjoyed.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5