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John Coltrane Quartet

John Coltrane Quartet: Ballads LP

John Coltrane

Impulse!, 1963

By the end of 1961, Coltrane’s headlong rush into new territory had caused some critics to question whether he was even playing jazz at all. “Ballads” is often seen as a riposte to those short-sighted criticisms. Here, Coltrane’s quartet interpret a selection of mellow tunes from the Great American Songbook with poise, delicacy and an ear for beauty. Recorded with minimal preparation or rehearsal, and with all but one of the tracks perfected in a single take, the album reveals an astonishingly sensitive group interplay, with pianist McCoy Tyner adding warm shades and colours to Coltrane’s ever-searching, heartfelt lyricism.

Side A
1. Say It (Over and Over Again) 
2. You Don't Know What Love Is 
3. Too Young to Go Steady 
4. All or Nothing at All 

Side B
1. I Wish I Knew 
2. What's New? 
3. It's Easy to Remember 
4. Nancy (With the Laughing Face) 

  • Recorded - December 21, 1961 and November 13, 1962 at Van Gelder Studio, New Jersey
  • Engineer - Rudy Van Gelder
  • Producer - Bob Thiele