John Coltrane, “Ballads”

Ballads is one of my favorite jazz albums. I’ve had a lifelong relationship with this album. While John Coltrane is best known for his more frantic stuff, this album proves just how sweetly he could play ballads. No matter how much I twist myself up, the opening riff of Say It (track 1) always unwinds me, immediately. When my daughters were babies, this is the music I used to put them to sleep.

Remarkably, all but one of the songs were recorded in one take. Crazy. I’ve bought it in vinyl, CD, and digital. Best of all, it’s now only six bucks on iTunes. So worth it.