According to the album's liner notes, THE GENTLE SIDE OF JOHN COLTRANE was assembled "to display the more lyrical and gentle side of the man's art," and it does just that. A collection of mostly mellow tracks recorded between 1961 and 1964, this record is a perfect choice for those who have never been able to "get" Coltrane's later, more experimental work, or newbies who are not quite ready for the cerebral qualities of straight hard bop.
In addition to a selection of excellent recordings featuring the classic Coltrane lineup of Mcoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones, there are also two tracks from Coltrane's historic 1962 album with Duke Ellington. These performances remind the listener that Ellington, while best remembered as a composer, was a gifted pianist who always cut right to the emotional heart of the music. Also included are songs from Coltrane's collaboration with vocalist Johnny Hartman and several lovely tunes in the "tone poem" vein, including the gorgeous and sad "After the Rain." Wrapping things up is "I Want to Talk About You," a good live example of the famous Coltrane "sheets of sound"--just in case anyone was getting too relaxed.
The John Coltrane Quartet: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
Additional personnel: Johnny Hartman (vocals); Duke Ellington (piano); Aaron Bell (bass); Sam Woodyard, Roy Haynes (drums).
01 Soul Eyes
02 What's New
04 Nancy (With the Laughing Face)
05 My Little Brown Book - (with Duke Ellington/Aaron Bell/Sam Woodward)
06 Wise One
07 Lush Life - (with Johnny Hartman)
09 My One and Only Love - (with Johnny Hartman)
10 After the Rain - (with Roy Haynes)
11 In a Sentimental Mood - (with Duke Ellington/Aaron Bell)
12 Dear Lord - (with Roy Haynes)
13 I Want to Talk About You