Giant Steps Release Date February 1960 Recorded: May 4–5, 1959; December 2, 1959
While Giant Steps the song and album was extremely innovative, another reason why this album was so significant for Coltrane and for Jazz listeners was because this was Coltrane’s first album that encompassed his own compositions. Whether or not you are familiar with Music Theory, many know the song Giant Steps was full of complex harmony and chordal complexity.
Tune in to KUVO JAZZ for a celebration of the “LP,” June 1 through 15. KUVO hosts will be sharing their record stories and favorite album art, plus random reflections on decades of record-related encounters.
We invite you to enter our Record Store Day drawing today and tell us your record story!
The winner will receive the following:
A Pro-Ject Debut Carbon EVO turntable courtesy of Listen Up.
A “starter-pack” of 10 LPs hand-picked by KUVO JAZZ Music Director Arturo Gómez from the bins at Twist & Shout
“Giant Steps” – John Coltrane
“Just Coolin'” – Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers with Lee Morgan and Hank Mobley
“Everybody Digs Bill Evans” – Bill Evans Trio
“Saxophone Colossus” – Sonny Rollins
“The Cape Verdean Blues” plus J.J. Johnson – Horace Silver Quintet
“Rainbow Sign” – Ron Miles w/ Bill Frisell
“The Hits” – Sinatra
“Howlin’ Wolf” (Blues)
“The Astrud Gilberto Album” w/Antonio Carlos Jobim (Brazilian)
You have until midnight on June 15, 2021! Good luck.
In the before times, the music went out to the masses via the disc – black laquer, pressed with grooves that transmitted sound through a needle to hungry ears, stamped with a colorful label, pierced precisely with a hole measuring 9/32 of an inch (1.5 inches for 45 rpm singles).
Of course, the music was the main attraction, but it didn’t take long for marketers of the LP to create a package that was a sound-and-sight experience: album covers with original, commissioned artwork and photography, literary and entertaining liner notes, printed sleeves, colored vinyl, punch-out mobiles, stickers, posters, and LYRICS!
Fully enjoying the LP was an experience: unwrapping the album and inhaling the fresh ink and vinyl, dropping the needle on the edge of the platter, turning the stereo up LOUD, sitting down for Side A, getting up to turn the disc over for Side B, and taking it all in while you pore over every word and image on the jacket. My favorite artists always included graphic treats and word puzzles along the way. A whole vocabulary arose around the medium of the record. Hipsters wanted to be “in the groove,” and “groovy” was a most positive accolade. DJs promised “more platter,” “stacks o’ wax,” and “mounds of sounds.” Later, with hip-hop, the sound of the needle forced back-and-forth on the record wasn’t a gag or a mistake; scratching was part of the rhythmic texture of the song.
Radio stations have had to keep up with all the technological developments of musical conveyance, the CD, and now digital storage and playback, plus a few formats you may not even have heard of – DAT and MiniDisk. But the affection for the jazz LP has never waned. Every public radio station I know of has a few record mavens on the airstaff. KUVO Jazz has Mike Wulfsohn’s “Wulfy’s Wax Museum” (Mondays at 8:30 p.m.), Geoff Anderson’s “Vinyl Vault” (Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.), Rodney Franks, JJ, Adam Morgan, Djamila Ricciardi, myself and a few others.
It’s probably not on your calendar, but if you’re a music lover, it should be: Record Store Day. There are two Record Store Days this year, the first of which is Saturday, June 12. For a few of us around KUVO Jazz, it’s in our planners, we’ve saved up, and we’re ready to do some serious crate-diving. But why wait?