The year 1958 was a breakout one for saxophone legend John Coltrane. It marked the year when Coltrane–already well-established as a talented sideman–began to make a name for himself as a solo musician and developed his signature “sheets of sound” style while exploring many other routes.
Now, to mark the 70th anniversary of Prestige, Coltrane’s 1958 recordings will be celebrated on a new box set from Craft Recordings. Due for release on March 29, Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings brings together the 37 tracks recorded he for the label. Much of the material would only see release on various albums in the ’60s, but this release marks the first time that all of the sessions have been presented together, and sequenced in chronological order to give the listener an unprecedented, session-by-session view Coltrane’s first full year as a solo artist.
In these sessions, all of which recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s home studio, we hear Coltrane emerging as a voice of hard-bop. The recordings feature many other talented contemporaries, including pianist Red Garland; guitarist Kenny Burrell; trumpeters Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard and Wilbur Harden; bassist Paul Chambers; and drummers Art Taylor, Jimmy Cobb, and Louis Hayes. As the press release notes, these sessions present an intimate look into the talents of all involved: “Born in three-hour sessions with minimal rehearsal, head arrangements and mostly first takes, these tracks provide a true and transparent view of the talent Coltrane was able to draw upon and the timeless, improvised magic they created together.”
Pressed across eight 180-gram LPs, the vinyl edition of Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings has been newly remastered from the original, Rudy Van Gelder-engineered analog tapes by Paul Blakemore, cut by Clint Holley from high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz transfers, and pressed at RTI. The records are housed in a luxurious, linen-wrapped folio that includes a striking design and 40 pages of liner notes written by jazz expert Ashley Kahn. Also included are historical photographs of Coltrane and his collaborators taken by Francis Wolff and Esmond Edwards, as well as a wealth of rare ephemera. There will also be a 5-CD edition that includes a 76-page booklet and replicates the design of the LP box set. Furthermore, Craft Recordings is offering an exclusive t-shirt bundle on the label’s online store.