180 gram vinyl LP in Gatefold packaging
"Coltrane Plays the Blues" is a thematic LP presenting the immortal saxophonist performing six tunes based on the blues. He is showcased here fronting his classic quartet, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Steve Davis on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Tyner sits out on “Blues to Bechet” and “Blues to You”, reducing the band to a trio on these tunes. On “Blues to Bechet” and “Mr. Syms”, Trane plays soprano sax.
Although Coltrane recorded blues and blues-inspired tunes all throughout his career, this is the only album he issued completely devoted to the blues, even though not all of the songs here are in strictly traditional blues form. Coltrane Plays the Blues received a four-star rating in Down Beat, with Don DeMicheal writing that, “Though Coltrane is not a blues player as, say, Milt Jackson is, he nonetheless evokes a blues feeling within a more abstract, musically sophisticated framework. That his knowledge of the blues is deep can be heard in the upper-register rasp he uses from time to time – it’s the same effect that a blues singer gets with his voice. The brightest track is ‘Mr. Day’, which finds Coltrane at his best, creating great excitement.”
JOHN COLTRANE, tenor sax (soprano sax on A2 & B2 only)
McCOY TYNER, piano (out on A2-A3)
STEVE DAVIS, bass
ELVIN JONES, drums
New York, October 24, 1960.
01 BLUES TO ELVIN
02 BLUES TO BECHET
03 BLUES TO YOU
01 MR. DAY
02 MR. SYMS
03 MR. KNIGHT