|Personnel: John Coltrane (vocals, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); John "Captain John" Handy (vocals, alto saxophone); Clark Terry (vocals, trumpet, flugelhorn); Tommy Flanagan (vocals, piano, claves); Leon Thomas (vocals, percussion); Chico O'Farrill, Johnny Hartman (vocals); Everett Barksdale, Freddie Green, John Collins, Gabor Szabo, Howard Collins, Sam T. Brown, Kenny Burrell, Larry Coryell, Ray Crawford, Barry Galbraith (guitar); Quelo Palacios (acoustic guitar); Mike Hoffmann (electric guitar); Alice Coltrane (harp, piano); Michel Samson (violin); Julius Held, Sol Shapiro, Arnold Eidus, Morris Stonzek, Charles McCracken , Raoul Poliakin, Harry Katzman, Gene Orloff, Harry Cykman, Harry Lookofsky (strings); Eddie Caine (flute, piccolo, alto saxophone); Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Bob Tricarico (flute, bassoon, soprano saxophone); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (flute, stritch, manzello, tenor saxophone); Eric Dixon , James Spaulding (flute); Frank Wess (alto flute); Raul Mercado, Antonio Pantoja (quena); Garvin Bushell (piccolo, reeds); Gato Barbieri, Jimmy Hamilton (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Pee Wee Russell, Perry Robinson (clarinet); Pharoah Sanders (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, percussion); Budd Johnson (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Dewey Redman (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, tambourine); Frank Strozier, Johnny Hodges, Marion Brown, Phil Woods, Russell Procope, Benny Carter (alto saxophone); Dick Hafer, Coleman Hawkins, Bob Ashton, Harold Ashby, John Gilmore , Albert Ayler, Oliver Nelson, Paul Gonsalves, Archie Shepp, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, Wayne Shorter, Ben Webster, Booker Ervin, Charles Lloyd, Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Danny Bank, Jerome Richardson, Pat Patrick , George Barrow (baritone saxophone); Richard Gene Williams , Donald Ayler, Ernie Royal, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Newman Quartet , Edward Armour, Phil Sunkel, Johnny Coles, Lee Morgan, Michael Mantler, Ray Nance, Snooky Young, Ted Curson, Tommy Turrentine, Thad Jones, Eddie Preston, Booker Little, Cat Anderson (trumpet); Robert "Brother Ah" Northern, Donald Corrado, Robert Swisshelm, Julius Watkins, James Buffington (French horn); Curtis Fuller, Lawrence D. Brown, Grachan Moncur III, J.J. Johnson , Joseph Orange, Jimmy Cleveland, Jimmy Knepper, Keg Johnson, Melba Liston, Roswell Rudd, Britt Woodman (trombone); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Marshall Brown (valve trombone); Julian Priester, Charles "Majeed" Greenlee (euphonium); Howard Glover "Johnny" Johnson, Billy Barber , Don Butterfield (tuba); Count Basie, Dick Katz, Gil Evans, Hank Jones , Jaki Byard, Keith Jarrett, Lonnie Liston Smith, McCoy Tyner, Mike Nock, Ahmad Jamal, Roger Kellaway, Bill Evans , Bobby Timmons, Carla Bley, Cedar Walton, Earl Hines (piano); Shirley Scott, Ernie Hayes (organ); Hotep Cecil Barnard (keyboards); Chuck Rainey, Adalberto Cevasco (electric bass); Elvin Jones (drums, percussion); Chico Hamilton, Eddie Locke, Ronnie Bedford, Grady Tate, Frank Gaht, James Black , James Gadson, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Jo Jones , Joe Chambers, Osie Johnson, Paul Motian, Philly Joe Jones, Rashied Ali , Roy Haynes, Art Blakey, Sonny Greer, Sonny Payne, Walter Perkins, Beaver Harris, Billy Hart, Frankie Dunlop, Otis Finch (drums); Eddie "Bongo" Brown (congas); Domingo Cura (bombo); Majid Shabazz (tambourine, bells); Yusef Lateef (tambourine); Danny Johnson , Julio Cruz, Guilherme Franco, Nat Bettis, Willie Bobo, Willie Rodriguez, Bobby Rosengarden , Victor Pantoja, Frank Malab?, Chano Pozo, Charlie Persip (percussion).
|The discs are arranged chronologically. Disc one begins with Gil Evans and his reading of "Where Flamingos Fly" from Out of the Cool, issued in 1961. Other big-band moments on this disc include Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" from Blues and the Abstract Truth, and Coltrane's reading of "Greensleeves" from his Africa Brass issue. These three albums alone present very different large band approaches to jazz, and the number of established and up-and-coming names who played on them is staggering: Budd Johnson, Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Charlie Persip, Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Roy Haynes, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Chambers, Julius Watkins, Julian Priester, Booker Little, McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, and more. Bob Thiele, the label's house producer and A&R man, is equally responsible. He was a visionary, open to any and all changes in the music; also in his favor was a healthy ambivalence toward the music business itself. Other headline acts in those early years included Art Blakey, Ben Webster, Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, Johnny Hartman, and Charles Mingus, just to name a few. The first two discs highlight these tracks, along with music by Chico Hamilton, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Gonsalves, Haynes, and Yusef Lateef very well. Disc two moves through the issue of Coltrane's A Love Supreme--the label's defining moment-- and one of its early vanguard signings in Archie Shepp. Shirley Scott and Pee Wee Russell are also represented with tracks from 1963 and 1964. But here is also where the problems begin for those who wish to quibble (we all have our wishes for what should have made the cut). Sun Ra is nowhere in sight. His Space Is The Placeis a crowning moment for him--it should be stated, that this album is a reissue of material that originally appeared on his own El Saturn label in various forms, but its best, and most complete presentation was on Impulse. Likewise, Cecil Taylor, Max Roach, and Quincy Jones are not represented here.