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released in january 1960, john coltrane's first album devoted entirely to his own compositions confirmed his towering command of tenor saxophone and his emerging power as a composer. apprenticeships with dizzy, miles, and monk had helped focus his furious, expansive solos, and his stamina and underlying sense of harmonic adventure brought coltrane, at 33, to a new cusp—the polytonal "sheets of sound" that distinguished his marathon solos were offset by interludes of subtle, concise lyricism, embodied here in the tender "naima." that classic ballad is a calm refuge from the ecstatic, high-speed runs that spark the set's up-tempo climaxes, which begin with the opening title song, itself a cornerstone of modern jazz composition. this exemplary reissue benefits from eight alternate takes of the original album's seven stellar tracks, excellent remastering of the original tapes, and an expanded annotation.