Three complete LPs featuring John Coltrane in a small group format on sessions which had trumpet and fl ugelhorn player Wilbur Harden as a leader. The albums, which appear here in their entirety along with of the all existing alternate takes from the dates, were Mainstream 1958 (Savoy SJL2203), Tanganyika Strut (Savoy SJL1110), and Jazz Way Out (Savoy MG12131). These outstanding tracks were among Coltrane’s last recordings as a sideman.
JOHN COLTRANE, tenor sax, WILBUR HARDEN, trumpet & flugelhorn on all tracks, plus:
CD1: Mainstream 1958 session
Tommy Flanagan (p), Doug Watkins (b), Louis Hayes (d).
Hackensack, New Jersey, March 13, 1958.
CD2, 1-5: Tanganyika Strut session
Curtis Fuller (tb), Howard Williams (p), Alvin Jackson (b), Art Taylor (d).
Hackensack, New Jersey, May 13, 1958.
CD2, 6-10:Jazz Way Out session
Curtis Fuller (tb), Tommy Flanagan (p), Alvin Jackson (b), Art Taylor (d).
Hackensack, New Jersey, June 24, 1958.
CD2: 76:06 mins.
01 B.J. 4:34
02 ANEDAC 5:15
03 ONCE IN A WHILE 9:28
04 B.J. [alternate take 1] 4:58
05 B.J. [alternate take 2] 4:54
06 DIAL AFRICA 8:44
07 OOMBA 5:32
08 GOLD COAST 14:36
09 TANGANYIKA STRUT 9:58
10 DIAL AFRICA [alternate take] 8:02
ALL MUSIC GUIDE: MAINSTREAM 1958
“Wilbur Harden has been somewhat of a jazz mystery, appearing on a handful of dates and then suddenly disappearing for good after falling ill not long after the 1958 sessions featured on this reissue. After these recordings of Harden’s works were issued in various forms on LP, including on some occasions with John Coltrane receiving top or sole billing, all of the music recorded by this overlooked trumpeter and fl ügelhornist with the legendary tenor saxophonist has finally become available in one complete two-CD set. The always dependable Tommy Flanagan is the pianist on two of the three sessions. Although Harden is a competent player, his compositions aren’t particularly memorable, although they are enjoyable; the primary reason people have sought this music is to plug a gap in their John Coltrane collections. The consistently strong playing of John Coltrane is what mmakes this set worth acquiring.” (Ken Dryden)