Label
Universal Music (Pty) Ltd.
Release date
13 Nov 2006
Running length
8 tracks
Running time
32:11

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 John Coltrane Quartet - Say It (Over And Over Again) 4:15 27,915
2 John Coltrane Quartet - You Don't Know What Love Is 5:16 15,017
3 John Coltrane Quartet - Too Young To Go Steady 4:24 16,330
4 John Coltrane Quartet - All Or Nothing At All 3:35 14,010
5 John Coltrane Quartet - I Wish I Knew 4:51 13,929
6 John Coltrane Quartet - What's New 3:45 10,599
7 John Coltrane Quartet - It's Easy To Remember 2:48 14,407
8 John Coltrane Quartet - Nancy (With The Laughing Face) 3:17 14,297

About this album

Throughout John Coltrane’s discography there are a handful of decisive and controversial albums that split his listening camp into factions. Generally, these occur in his later-period works such as Om and Ascension, which push into some pretty heady blowing. As a contrast, Ballads is often criticized as too easy and as too much of a compromise between Coltrane and Impulse! (the two had just entered into the first year of label representation). Seen as an answer to critics who found his work complicated with too many notes and too thin a concept, Ballads has even been accused of being a record that Coltrane didn’t want to make. These conspiracy theories (and there are more) really just get in the way of enjoying a perfectly fine album of Coltrane doing what he always did — exploring new avenues and modes in an inexhaustible search for personal and artistic enlightenment. With Ballads he looks into the warmer side of things, a path he would take with both Johnny Hartman (on John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman) and with Duke Ellington (on Duke Ellington and John Coltrane). Here he lays out for McCoy Tyner mostly, and the results positively shimmer at times. He’s not aggressive, and he’s not outwardly. Instead he’s introspective and at times even predictable, but that is precisely Ballads’ draw.

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