This CD includes the complete original album "Coltrane Plays the Blues," a thematic LP consisting of six tunes based on the blues. Pianist McCoy Tyner sits out on Blues to Bechet and Blues to You, reducing the band to a trio on these tracks. Another tune recorded during that session and four extra blues from the same period presenting Coltrane as the only horn have been added as a bonus.
01. Blues To Elvin 7:51
02. Blues To Bechet 5:45
03. Blues To You 6:27
04. Mr. Day 7:55
05. Mr. Syms 5:21
06. Mr. Knight 7:32
07. Untitled Original [Exotica] 5:19*
08. Village Blues 5:20*
09. The Late Late Blues 9:33*
10. Some Other Blues 5:34*
11. The Blues Legacy 9:02*
Total time: 75:44 min.
Tracks #1-6, from the original 12" album
"Coltrane Plays the Blues" (Atlantic SD1553)
(*) Bonus tracks not on the original album
Personnel on tracks #1-7:
John Coltrane (ts, ss), McCoy Tyner (p), Steve Davis (b), and Elvin Jones (d).
Recorded in New York, on October 21 & 24, 1960
Personnel on tracks #9 & 11:
John Coltrane (ts), Milt Jackson (vibes), Hank Jones (p), Paul Chambers (b), and Connie Kay (d).
Recorded in New York, on January 15, 1959
Personnel on track #10:
John Coltrane (ts), Wynton Kelly (p), Paul Chambers (b), and Jimmy Cobb (d).
Recorded in New York, on December 2, 1959
Original session supervised by Nesuhi Ertegun
Recording engineer: Tom Dowd
Cover artwork: Bob Slutzky, Marty Norman
"Splendid, but rather overlooked 1960s album."
Ron Simpson -Jazz Rag
"Coltrane's sessions for Atlantic in late October 1960 were prolific, yielding the material for My Favorite Things, Coltrane Plays the Blues, and Coltrane's Sound. My Favorite Things was destined to be the most remembered and influential of these, and while Coltrane Plays the Blues is not as renowned or daring in material, it is still a powerful session. As for the phrase "plays the blues" in the title, that's not an indicator that the tunes are conventional blues (they aren't). It's more indicative of a bluesy sensibility, whether he is playing muscular saxophone or, on "Blues to Bechet" and "Mr. Syms," the more unusual sounding (at the time) soprano sax. Elvin Jones, who hadn't been in Coltrane's band long, really busts out on the quicker numbers, such as "Blues to You" and "Mr. Day." [Some reissues add five bonus tracks: two alternates apiece of "Blues to Elvin" and "Blues to You," and "Untitled Original (Exotica)." All three were recorded on October 24, 1960.]"
Richie Unterberger -All Music Guide