John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio: Traneing In

A month before Blue Train, which announced some stylistic departure in original tunes, the saxophonist here sticks to blues and standards


This was an early Coltrane quartet session made under his new contract with Prestige Records. The rhythm section were his pals from the Miles Davis quintet where he was working then except for Taylor who had left the band earlier. Trane kept it fairly simple and straightahead with two blues selections, two slow ballad standards and a high-octane tear up on Soft Lights And Sweet Music which is anything but that.

A month after this he would record Blue Train for Blue Note with four originals and a glowing cast of sidemen which would become a jazz classic and hailed as one of his very best albums. This though was just a straightahead blowing session of the day with everyone on good form.

The title tune has a long piano introduction with Garland playing mainly single lines effectively. He sets up Coltrane who improvises brightly with medium-tempo blues lines. Chambers plays a solo next and then Garland and Coltrane return for further solo work before taking it out. Chambers sets up Slow Dance with a few well-chosen plucked notes and Trane demonstrates what a good, melodic ballad player he was, even back in 1957.

You Leave Me Breathless is similar in mood and tempo with Coltrane sounding slightly melancholy in a well-crafted ballad solo. Bass Blues finds the leader playing in unison with Chambers to introduce the piece. His solo is not unlike his blues choruses on the title track and Garland and Chambers get solo spots. Soft Lights is a very fast burner which Coltrane likely selected as a suitable ending.

Coltrane wasn’t aware that 60-plus years later Jazz Wax would add to his album a quartet tune from 1956. Mating Call, with Trane, Tadd Dameron on piano and the excellent pairing of John Simmons and Philly Joe Jones, turns out to be the best track on the album and a splendid bonus. Russian Lullaby is the second bonus track culled from his 1958 LP Soultrane.

As an example of early Coltrane though the original tracks are well worth acquiring if you don’t have them already. The sound recording is very good on what Jazz Wax claim is an audiophile pressing.

(1) Traneing In; Slow Dance (2) Russian Lullaby; Bass Blues; You Leave Me Breathless; Soft Lights And Sweet Music (3) Mating Call (48.32)
(1) Coltrane (ts); Red Garland (p); Paul Chambers (b); Art Taylor (d). New Jersey, 23 August 1957.
(2) Same personnel, New Jersey, 7 February 1958.
(3) John Coltrane (ts); Tadd Dameron (p); John Simmons (b); Philly Joe Jones (d). NYC, 30 November 1956.
Jazz Wax JWR 4611