Recognized as one of the most influential jazz albums in jazz history, Giant Steps was the fifth studio album by jazz saxophonist John Coltrane as leader and was released in February 1960 on Atlantic Records. Recently, it attained Gold status selling more than 500,000 copies.

This landmark album has become a ‘go to’ for jazz musicians, with many of its music tracks forming practice templates for improvisation. Its first track ‘Giant Steps’ features is a particularly exemplary of Coltrane’s pushing boundaries in improvising techniques. With musical phrasing that are like ‘sheets of sound’, a term coined by jazz critic Ira Gitler in (1958), the musical work encompasses third related chord changes (now known as Coltrane changes) where its chords create key centers a third apart. This epic musical work has become an ultimate practice piece for many jazz musicians and provided a door into modern jazz.

The musicians:

John Coltrane – tenor saxophone

Tommy Flanagan – piano

Wynton Kelly – piano on ‘Naima’

Cedar Walton – piano on ‘Giant Step’ and ‘Naima’ alternate versions

Paul Chambers – bass

Art Taylor – drums

Jimmy Cobb – drums on ‘Naima’

Lex Humphries – drums on ‘Giant Steps’ and ‘Naima’ alternate versions


Post by Andrew McNeill