John Coltrane – Giant Steps

In Giant Steps John Coltrane lays down some fairly solid rules with the progression allowing the band to move around the idea and play with improvisation. This simply wouldn’t have been possible if the structure of the track was improvised or allowed to wander. We must have the foundation of form to allow the freedom.

The “Giant Steps” of the title refer to the intervals of the progression itself, and the mastery of “Coltrane Changes” in Jazz Standards has become a requirement in the Jazz musician’s arsenal.

I’m not a fan of Jazz (although I’m working on it) but after a few listens to this track and reading some explanations of how he went about composing the piece I can appreciate that this is serious stuff and worthy of further exploration. The accuracy of the Sax playing is extraordinary and the band do well to keep up and provide constructive content.

Hear the track here.
Read an in-depth explanation of Coltrane Changes here (PDF).

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