John Coltrane - Ballads (Reel-to-Reel, Ultra Tape)
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John Coltrane - Ballads (Reel-to-Reel, Ultra Tape)

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John Coltrane – tenor saxophone

McCoy Tyner – piano

Jimmy Garrison (A1-B2, B4), Reggie Workman (B3) – bass

Elvin Jones – drums


2 x Ultra Tape reel-to-reel

15 ips, ¼-inch analog tape copy (IEC equalization) sourced from a copy of the original analog master tape.

Transferred real-time, using an ATR-modified Ampex Tape Machine with flux magnetic heads.

Custom slipcase cover 



Label : Analogue Productions

Original Label : Impulse

Recorded December 21, 1961; September 18 and November 13, 1962 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs

Engineered by  Rudy Van Gelder

Produced by Bob Thiele

Remastered by Ryan K. Smith

Originally released in 1963

Reissued in 2022

Tracks :

Reel 1 :

  1. Say It (Over and over Again)
  2. You Don't Know What Love Is
  3. Too Young to Go Steady
  4. All or Nothing at All

Reel 2 :

  1. I Wish I Knew
  2. What's New?
  3. It's Easy to Remember
  4. Nancy (With the Laughing Face)


Reviews :

"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 & 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." AllMusic Review by Sam Samuelson

"(Ballads) is an album that will never go out of style and never be unwelcome on any jazz lover's turntable. ... I compared this Ryan K. Smith cut with an original pressing (so happy to have) and with the out of print double 45 RPM ORG Music version cut by Bernie Grundman aboutt a decade ago. ... Ryan's cut has his characteristic clarity and transparency all set against QRP's usual jet black backgrounds ... Ryan's new cut is a 100% top to bottom success and is easy to recommend." Michael Fremer, Analog Planet

Ratings :

AllMusic : 4 / 5 , Discogs : 4,61 / 5

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