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The 20 Best Album Re-Issues of 2019

In 2019, the music world saw amazing reissues spanning rock legends to foundational electronic artists, soul and jazz to pop of all stripes.

Recent
Reviews

Latest Miles Davis/John Coltrane Box Set Reveals the Marvel of the Final Tour

The musical conflict and explorations of these jazz legends made for a stunning series of concerts that remain sharp nearly 60 years later.

Justin Cober-Lake
Music

Ravi Coltrane and SFJazz Honor John Coltrane with A Love Supreme

Considering that Coltrane only played the classic composition in its entirety a single time (at a 1965 show in France), it’s a work of art that remains ripe for further interpretation.

Interviews

Monk and Coltrane Return to Vinyl: A Conversation with Producer Nick Phillips

The classic 1957 studio encounters between a mature Thelonious Monk and an up-and-coming John Coltrane are now remastered for high-quality vinyl. The music deserves it.

Music

Finding the Sublime in Jazz, an Argument for Abstraction

Jazz columnist Will Layman presents seven pieces of music as evidence of the beauty and urgency of pure sound in instrumental jazz.

Music

John Coltrane Quartet featuring Eric Dolphy: So Many Things: The European Tour 1961

The four discs on So Many Things find the band looking for some sweet spot between a groove the audience can latch onto and the experimentalism that shaped the early '60s period of Coltrane's career.

Music

John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University

This set, performed just nine months before Coltrane's death, shows both the impressive openness of his late-era band and the limitations of its sound.

Music

Jazz May Be Reeling in Terms of Record Sales, But It's Thriving As an Art Form

What if today’s jazz is a little bit Bill Frisell and a little bit Ornette Coleman?

Music

Various Artists: The Best of Blue Note

Here's another one of those groovy, swingin', melodic and enjoyable exercises in futility.

Music

List This! A Beginner's Guide to Blue Note Records

Blue Note, one of the foremost jazz record labels, is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a vinyl initiative, releasing highlights from its massive catalog over the course of two years. Here are some picks to get you started.

Music

12 Compositions to Introduce You to Classical Music Post-1950

Classical and compositional music has continued to thrive in the 20th and 21st centuries, reaching new heights of both dissonance and beauty.

Music

Finding Grace in Beautiful Places

I use music as a viable source of empowerment: it is capable of conjuring up words and concepts that are oblique, or pretentious, or all-too-easily invoked, expedient for folks who ardently need a way to articulate the feeling they either can’t quite explain or desperately wish to get in touch with.

Music

Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction

Spirit Fiction is a more than pleasing ride that never quite soars into the stratosphere, laying a firm foundation of artistry while hinting towards even greater things to come.

Music

Counterbalance No. 67: John Coltrane’s 'A Love Supreme'

As Coltrane said, “One thought can produce millions of vibrations and they all go back to God.” A spiritual jazz masterpiece is the 67th most acclaimed album of all time. Counterbalance has a listen.

Music

The 10 Best John Coltrane Solos

The process of deciding which John Coltrane solos are the best of the best gave me a good reason to go back and listen to his catalog once again, as if an excuse is even needed. I hope you do the same.

Music

Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music

No matter how many times it gets reissued, a great album is still a great album. Monk's Music will never sound anything short of terrific.

Music

Counterbalance No. 39: Miles Davis’ 'Kind of Blue'

The Great List of the most acclaimed albums of all time makes its first foray into jazz, beginning with Miles Davis’ 1959 favorite. With no lyrics to quote, Counterbalance’s Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn are having difficulty writing this introduction.

Music

Harriet Tubman: Ascension

Their band is named after one of American history's most revered women. Their album is named after one of John Coltrane's most ambitious works. Harriet Tubman's Ascension walks the talk.

Music

Miles Davis: The Definitive Miles Davis on Prestige

The latest Miles Davis collection chronicles some of the best, most interesting and hungry tunes the legend ever offered.

Music

(It's Always) Time For McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner epitomizes the restless spirit and inspiration that characterizes all of our great artists. He was already a master by the mid-’60s; his work with John Coltrane could be studied and analyzed the way entire catalogs of music get dissected by critics. He was neither sated nor satisfied though, so he kept pushing and his work became increasingly ambitious, wide in scope and rewarding

Music

David Liebman: Lieb Plays the Blues à la Trane

Don't let the lofty title fool you, saxophonist David Liebman is just playing covers and having fun here.

John Garratt
Books

'John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom': Insider Perspectives

The better contributions in this edited volume navigate a course between the particular and the universal, granting Coltrane's music the freedom it demands.

Music

Top Ten Tracks for Your Holiday Playlist

Weary of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” for the 567th time? Here's an alternate selection of songs to consider spinning during the holiday season.

Music

The Shape of Jazz That Came...

The awake, aware folks who make and receive these offerings celebrate an ever-evolving music that resists boundaries, the sort capable of communication that transcends language and explanation.

Music

Talking About Jazz (Again) and Appreciating Wayne Shorter

Wayne Shorter is the authentic item that aficionados savor, but whom virtually anyone with unpolluted ears can immediately appreciate.

Music

Five Guys or, the Greatest Band of All Time (No, Really)

Aside from John Coltrane's classic quartet, there is no jazz band that can hold a candle to the second Miles Davis quintet.

Reviews

No One Has Ever Done Anything as Well as John Coltrane Played the Saxophone

If there is any artist worthy of celebration in our contemporary American Idol Apocalypse, John Coltrane should serve as both antidote and inspiration.

Music

Akira Sakata & Chikamorachie: Friendly Pants

For all of its strength, poise, and extroversion, Friendly Pants does little to create any particular sensation, and instead operates more as a skill showcase for the musicians involved.

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John Coltrane - Side Steps

John Coltrane - Side Steps - Prestige [$59.98]

Music

August Left Our World a Poorer Place x2

Remembering Joe Maneri and Rashied Ali

Books

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff

Ratliff eschews the typical trappings of routine biography to plumb more profound ideas of musical language, identity, and influence.

Music

Ravi Coltrane: The Son Also Rises

Tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane manages to look backward without seeming stale, and manages to deflect his sound off of his father's without either outright rejection or pale imitation.

Music

The Best Jazz of 2008

More than ever, the best jazz is coming from small labels, and more than ever the best draws a decent slice from the dynamics of rock and pop music without itself being a commercial venture.

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Kind of Blue Revisited: The 50th Anniversary of the Greatest (Jazz) Album of All Time

A staple of modern music for nearly 50 years, Kind of Blue is near-impossible to hear with fresh ears. But perhaps that is precisely why it needs some re-examining.

Featured: Top of Home Page

Kind of Blue Revisited: The 50th Anniversary of the Greatest (Jazz) Album of All Time

A staple of modern music for nearly 50 years, Kind of Blue is near-impossible to hear with fresh ears. But perhaps that is precisely why it needs some re-examining.

Books

Coltrane: The Story of a Sound by Ben Ratliff

Story of a Sound isn't just the story of a sound. It's a piece of jazz criticism that passionately questions and enhances the role of jazz criticism.

Chris Vognar
Music

Roy Haynes: A Life in Time: The Roy Haynes Story

Highlights from the jazz drummer's six-decade career grace this three-CD/one-DVD retrospective, including performances with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Sarah Vaughan.


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