There’s little else to say except that ‘Round About Midnight is among the most essential of Davis’ Columbia recordings.
~Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)
An absolute classic of modern jazz, with brilliant solo work from the leader and from Coltrane, who was preparing for his own solo career at this point, plus subtle backing from the rhythm section. Tunes range from Monk’s famous title track to the ancient standard “Bye Bye Blackbird.”
~Wilson & Alroy’s Record Reviews
Stylistically, Midnight encompasses standards (or soon-to-be standards) such as “Dear Old Stockholm”, “Bye-Bye Blackbird”, Tadd Dameron’s “Tadd’s Delight”, and Jackie McLean’s forward-thinking composition “Little Melonae.” Miles and company reprise “Budo” from the historic Birth of the Cool sessions. The standout track is Davis’s Harmon-muted reading of Thelonious Monk’s ballad, “‘Round Midnight”, which is still a Miles standard bearer… If you want to hear the origins of post-bop modern jazz, this is it.
~Eugene Holley, Jr.
One of her most overlooked ’60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material, despite the title. None of these cuts were significant hits, and none were Aretha originals; she displayed her characteristically eclectic taste in the choice of cover material, handling compositions by Percy Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and, at the most pop-oriented end of her spectrum, John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” and Bob Lind’s “Elusive Butterfly.”
Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, though, as is the musicianship; besides contributions from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, session players include respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, David Newman, and Joe Zawinul.
– Richie Unterberger (allmusic) Continue reading “January 17: Aretha Franklin released Soul ’69 in 1969”→
Without reservation, Blue Train can easily be considered in and among the most important and influential entries not only of John Coltrane’s career, but of the entire genre of jazz music as well.
~Lindsay Planer (allmusic.com)
“Blue Train” is the best thing that could have possibly come out of Coltrane’s first attempt at leading and composing his own group. His later works such as “Giant Steps” and “A Love Supreme” may be well-known, but this album is on the same scale if not greater considering his inexperience as a leader and a composer. Its influence on jazz is extraordinary. This band’s and this album’s sound is different from most of jazz and revolutionary and the title track is commonly used as an audition piece. Highly recommended for anyone who even remotely likes jazz.