Coltrane on Prestige Sunday Profile

Coltrane on Prestige
Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 2:00pm to 7:00pm

Sid Gribetz presents a five hour radio show taking a close look at “Coltrane on Prestige” on this Sunday Profiles, May 19, 2024 from 2-7 PM.John Coltrane is a major figure in our culture. The majesty, grandeur and passion of his saxophone communicates with the soul and has inspired the reverence and spiritual devotion of his widespread listening audience.It would be difficult to profile his massive output in a single radio program. Therefore, I have selected one discrete portion of his career, his recordings on the Prestige record label, for an intensive review in the allotted five hours.Coltrane attained his first widespread notice in his late twenties as a member of the classic Miles Davis Quintet (fall 1955-early 1957). However, Coltrane was struggling with substance abuse and other personal difficulties, and Miles fired him from the group. With immense personal dedication, and spiritual guidance from his wife Naima, Coltrane beat his addiction and began a renewed, refreshed life. He moved to New York City (203 West 103rd Street). Trane began working with Thelonious Monk, and their legendary six month engagement at the Five Spot reinvigorated each of their careers.At the same time, Coltrane was looking to establish himself as a recording artist. While with Miles, he was also a freelance sideman on many now classic albums, and in early 1957 Coltrane eventually got a contract with Bob Weinstock’s independent Prestige company, a deal that would last through the end of 1958.There, Coltrane recorded his first three albums as a leader (“Coltrane”, “John Coltrane With The Red Garland Trio (aka Traneing In)” and “Soultrane”), sessions led by his friend Red Garland, and many all star dates. As was his custom, Weinstock recorded and “kept in the can” many more sessions under Trane’s leadership, which were stockpiled and released on additional albums in the next few years.This was a pivotal period in the development of Trane’s career, leading in to “Giant Steps” and next levels of artistry. Accordingly, these Prestige records are sometimes overlooked, but they, too, have a robust and sophisticated improvisational fervor worth savoring. Critic Ira Gitler wrote of “the excruciatingly exhilarating intensity of rapid exigent runs with their residual harmonic impact” in coining the overworked but still apt term “Sheets of Sound” to characterize this phase of Coltrane’s style.