John Coltrane & Kenny Burrell
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1958 represented a transitional period in John Coltrane’s musical career. He had first joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1955 and would form his own celebrated quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones in 1960. In the intervening years, he overcame his narcotics addiction and began to expand on his own musical ideas while experimenting with both the Thelonious Monk Quartet and the Miles Davis Sextet (featuring Bill Evans and Cannonball Adderley). Presented here is the complete original 1958 LP Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, which gives us the rare chance to hear Trane play a tenor sax-guitar duet with his co-soloist (on “Why Was I Born?”). Burrell and Coltrane had first played together in 1951 as members of the Dizzy Gillespie band, and a few recordings exist of that stage of their careers. They Nwould both collaborate later on the 1956 Paul Chambers sextet album Whims of Chambers (also featuring Donald Byrd, Horace Silver and Philly Joe Jones) and on the 1957 Nalbums Interplay for 2 trumpetsand 2 tenors (including Chambers and Arthur Taylor) and The Cats (with Tommy Flanagan). Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane would mark their last recorded collaboration ever.
Hackensack, New Jersey, March 7, 1958.
One of the most renowned jazz photographers of all time, Francis Wolff (1907-1971) was also a record company executive and producer, whose skills were essential to the success of the Blue Note record label. Born Jakob Franz Wolff in Berlin, Germany, he soon became a jazz enthusiast, despite the government ban placed on this type of music after 1933. A Jew, in 1939 he left Berlin, where hehad worked as a commercial photographer, and established himself in New York. He began working there with his childhood friend Alfred Lion, who had co-founded Blue Note Records with Max Margulis. The latter soon dropped out of any involvement in the company, and Wolff joined Lion in running it. Wolff took thousands of photographs during the label’s recording sessions and rehearsals. His highly personal visual concept would be forever associated with both Blue Note and jazz as a whole.