Best versions of John Coltrane's Atlantic Albums?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Hypnotoad, Aug 21, 2008.

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  1. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Chicago, IL, USA
    Heavyweight champion is one of my first Jazz CD purchases and it is still near and dear to my heart.

    My Favorite Things and Ole are probably my favorite, but I love all of it.

    What are the best versions of this material? I've heard that vinyl is the way to go, but should I go for originals, the new heavyweight champion box set, an old heavyweight champion box set, the Japanese vinyl (by Pioneer), or something else? Any advice appreciated, even if you haven't compared all possibilities...
    Erik B. likes this.
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    First issue Atlantic CDs.
    Dave S and Erik B. like this.
  3. LeftOfTheDial

    LeftOfTheDial Active Member

    rhode island
    i have the newer remastered giant steps on vinyl. i'm not much of an audiophile at all, but this version kicks my *** with sound quality (specifically dynamics and clarity), especially compared to the old cd i had, which sounded quite muffled to me (and skipped).
  4. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Chicago, IL, USA
    Interesting. Better than any of the vinyl? I'll definitely check them out!

    I take it that this is the one (for My Favorite Things):

    * Format: CD
    * Original Release: c. 10/24/1960-10/26/1960
    * Release Date: 10/25/1990
    * Label: ATLANTIC / WEA
    * Catalog No.: 1361
    * UPC: 075678134623

    Technical Credits
    Tom Dowd Engineer
    Nesuhi Ertegun Producer
    Phil Iehle Engineer
    Jean Ristori Mastering
    Stephen Innocenzi Mastering
    Loring Eutemey Cover Design
    Lee Friedlander Cover Photo
    Bill Coss Liner Notes
  5. Right, that's Kevin Gray's mastering (Rhino vinyl). My understanding is that its good.

    I'm surprised to read that the original US CDs are the way to go. Although that'd be great as they're easier to find than say the MFSL Giant Steps or original LPs.

    Steve - Is your recommendation based on comparisons or an assessment that the first CDs were flat transfers?
  6. (duplicate)
  7. LeftOfTheDial

    LeftOfTheDial Active Member

    rhode island
    figures. normally i'm not too great at noticing the subtle differences in mastering comparisons, but this jumped out at me. get it now while it's still readily available.
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    The original CD's are pretty much flat transfers (made from dammed flat sounding masters).

    If you want to hear the sound of the tapes, find the first CD issues (before the later mastering engineers tried to add too much extra "body", top end, etc. to the music).
    David del Toro likes this.
  9. Spaceboy

    Spaceboy Senior Member

    There is an MFSL of Giant Steps.
  10. bresna

    bresna Forum Resident

    York, Maine
    The newer masterings of these dates sound terrible. They are one of the first batches of "remastered!!" CDs I ever bought that I kept the original CD versions. It opened my eyes to the fact that "remastered" doesn't equate to "better".

    I couldn't believe the sound I heard on the remastered "My Favorite Things" CD. McCoy Tyner's pounding, block chord solo on the title track is almost inaudible over the cranked up bass. Horrible.

    BTW - the versions I am talking about come in cardboard digipaks. I forget the series name.
  11. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Dayton Ohio
    I have always been happy with The Heavyweight Champion. i don't think they butchered it too bad. It is interesting to hear Steve's comments on the original CD's. I have the old Atlantic CD of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messenger with Thelonious Monk and i always liked the way it sounded. I may try and seek out the older Coltranes on Atlantic. BTW the Rhino Giant Steps vinyl is awesome!! i love the original green label Atlantic repro too! Certainly worth getting!!
  12. ronankeane

    ronankeane Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland

    Did the first issues have bonus tracks?
  13. fredhammersmith

    fredhammersmith Forum Resident

    Montreal, Quebec
    Olé Coltrane got the beautiful To Her Ladyship.
    Atlantic 1373-2
  14. michaelO

    michaelO Forum Resident

    Louisville, KY

    I think the Japanese 24 bit remasters are excellent. I have Ole Coltrane, Coltrane Jazz, and My favorite things. The only one I had the digi pak (50th anniversary?) was Ole and the Japanese one was much better. The Digi pak ed. are OK, but are little too tight sounding. Maybe a tad bright? Eventually I will replace my digi paks with the Japanese 24 bit remasters as finances alow.

  15. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    I like the original Atlantic CD issues. On vinyl, the originals are nice when you can find clean ones. The Heavyweight Champion vinyl is excellent. A friend of mine has a set.
  16. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    South Plymouth, Ma
    A few of them did, like Giant Steps. It hasn't gotted re-done since the 1st attempt but it does come with the new packaging.

    MFSL of Giant Steps? No. Don't bother.
  17. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Dayton Ohio
  18. peter

    peter Senior Member

    I have the Heavyweight Champion, both on cd and on LP, the LP being the FIRST (1995) issue which is quite rare, I think. Both are amazing IMHO. However, my orig. US mono LP's are my faves on this stuff. Thankfully, I have them all. Best of all, because they're mono, they can not be perfect and they still sound great.
    shutdown66 likes this.
  19. bodine

    bodine Forum Resident

    Washington DC
    I like the Heavyweight Champion, but happened to see two used copies of Giant Steps and Coltrane Jazz, each for $6.99. I liked what I heard, but to my ears, the bass was pretty full on these, much like the Heavyweight remasters...I'm happy to have them anyway. the more Trane, the better...
  20. Maggie

    Maggie funky but chic

    Toronto, Canada
    Those first issue CDs are treasures! And they're so gosh-darned cheap. And they have all the important bonus tracks. I could just listen to them over and over!

    With ONE EXCEPTION: I prefer the "Atlantic Masters" version of Coltrane Jazz to the original CD (which is hard to find nowadays anyway).

    Not all those early Atlantic CDs hit the spot (the Ornette Coleman ones come to mind), nor for that matter do most of the Atlantic Masters series. But for Trane on Atlantic it is true for once that cheapest is bestest.
  21. AaronW

    AaronW Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    Was the original STEREO Atlantic Giant Steps ever pressed with the green label? The earliest I've seen are on the "bullseye" label, which do sound a wee bit better than the 180g Rhino pressing which is excellent.
  22. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Chicago, IL, USA
    According to the Goldmine guide it was.

    Atlantic did dedicated Mono mixes, right? So any opinion on whether the mono or stereo is better?

    I picked up a used CD version of My Favorite Things, but it has a weird flaw I've never encountered before: you can hear it spinning in the CD player like it is much heavier on one side than the other, but when you inspect it it looks fine. I tried it in multiple players. Guess I'll return it...
  23. AaronW

    AaronW Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    That really has no bearing whether it actually exists though. Anybody here own one or have picture?
  24. sberger

    sberger Dream Baby Dream

    According to the label history, it would have been. Also, the version included with "The Heavyweight Champion" has the green label, and I'm certain that all of those lp's were issued with the exact replica label.
  25. AaronW

    AaronW Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    I'm not saying it didn't but I've been keeping my eye out for quite a few years and have yet to see one. If the STEREO version came out the following year after the MONO, the "bullseye" label would have been the original label. If it does exist it must be as rare as a gray label Frank Sinatra Only The Lonely!
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