Access monthly jazz standard studies, and courses: LEARN MORE

Home All About Jazz Jazz Album Reviews Blast from the Past: John Coltrane "Ballads"

Blast from the Past: John Coltrane “Ballads”

Click above to purchase John Coltrane’s Ballads

Learn Jazz Standards looks back this week at John Coltrane’s 1963 release of Ballads. Joining Coltrane is Jimmy Garrison on bass, McCoy Tyner on Piano, and Elvin Jones on drums. On this release, the famous quartet plays a repertoire of strictly ballads, all tunes they had not played together before this studio date. All of the selections were recorded in one take except All or Nothing at All. This is truly a masterpiece. Coltrane’s phrasing of these melodies transcends the instrument and enters the soul; a passionate plea. Ballads may not have the reputation of A Love Supreme, Blue Train, or Giant Steps, but this record is easily worth the accolades that these have received. If this Coltrane record is not currently in your collection, don’t waste any more time.


1. “Say It (Over and Over Again)” (Jimmy McHugh) – 4:18

2. “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (Gene DePaul) – 5:15

3. “Too Young to Go Steady” (Jimmy McHugh) – 4:23

4. “All or Nothing at All” (Arthur Altman) – 3:39

5. “I Wish I Knew” (Harry Warren) – 4:54

6. “What’s New?” (Bob Haggart) – 3:47

7. “It’s Easy to Remember” (Richard Rodgers) – 2:49

8. “Nancy (With the Laughing Face)” (Jimmy Van Heusen) – 3:10

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Follow Us

Free Stuff

I want to...