Giant Steps is a 1960 album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released on Atlantic Records.
Giant Steps was his second album to be recorded by the Atlantic label, and marked the first time that all of the pieces on a recording had been composed by him. The recording exemplifies Coltrane's melodic phrasing that came to be known as sheets of sound, and features the use of a new harmonic concept later to be known as "Coltrane changes." Jazz musicians continue to use the Giant Steps chord progression as a practice piece and as a gateway into modern jazz improvisation. The ability to blow over the Giant Steps/Coltrane cycle remains to this day one of the benchmark standards by which a jazz musician's improvising skill is measured.
The album is also considered to be Coltrane's farewell to the style of music called "bebop". He ventured into the territory known as "modal jazz" shortly afterwards. Several pieces on this album went on to become jazz standards, such as "Naima", "Giant Steps", "Cousin Mary", "Countdown", and "Mr. P.C."
In 2003, the album was ranked number 102 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. In 1983, basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar named his autobiography (written with co-author Peter Knobler) after this seminal album.
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