Day 2 of recording wrapped up on this day, 5 May, 1959. Other than the track “Naima”, Trane’s work on ‘Giant Steps’ was done. The title track is a marvel. 26 chord changes across the 16-bar theme have wreaked havoc in band practice rooms for decades, but for those of us who don’t have to solo over the changes, the swing, intensity, surprise, delight, hook, groove, and velocity are INFECTIOUS. It’s a standard for good reason. As is “Naima”, the only time NOT recorded over those two days in May, but in Dec of that year with Miles’ rhythm section. “Naima” was Trane’s favorite composition, and one that ran a gamut of emotions in his live book for years.
This record is a lot. I don’t know that I’d recommend it as an intro/starter John Coltrane record, but you’ll want it eventually, and no jazz collection is complete without it. Others have written in more depth about this record about which more should be said–an Instagram review doesn’t do it proper justice. A milestone in jazz.