John Coltrane’s hard-bop-era masterpiece, “Blue Train” highlights his mastery as a solo tenorist and as a bandleader. It’s a tight album that sounds much like a typical club set for Coltrane and the band. His unyielding and creative sax demands attention saying to the audience, “I’ve got something to say, and you’re gonna hear it.” The album’s best tracks, “Blue Train” and “I’m Old Fashioned,” show off the young Coltrane’s talents and hint at the greatness to come.
The most celebrated jazz saxophonist in the history of the genre, John Coltrane pioneered the genre of modal jazz with the help of Miles Davis and directly developed free jazz. He also worked closely with great jazz pianist Thelonious Monk and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Following his recovery from heroin addiction, Coltrane became a very spiritual man. His newfound faith bled into some of his greatest '60s-era work. He died of liver cancer at 40 but changed the course of jazz and mainstream music as a whole during his short life.