The complete recordings done by John Coltrane for Bethlehem Records – mostly cut during December of 1957, and issued on the albums The Winner
and Art Blakey Big Band! Both albums were a bit unusual for the label – in that The Winner
was sort of a blowing/
jam session type record, cut with some of the big poll winner
s of the year, but with shorter tracks than the usual Prestige-styled set of that nature. The lineup includes Donald Byrd, Al Cohn, Eddie Costa, Oscar Pettiford, and Philly Joe Jones – and Coltrane's a bit buried in the group, but gets out some nice licks from time to time. The second set of tracks was recorded for a unique big band session led by Art Blakey – featuring a core group with Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Walter Bishop Jr, and Wendell Marshall on some tracks – plus a larger lineup on a number of others. The CD brings together a whopping 27 tracks from these sessions, including some great alternate takes – and titles include "Midriff", "Tippin", "The Outer World", "The Kiss Of No Return", "Pristine", and "Oasis" – a previously unreleased track!