The first three tracks on LUSH LIFE (from May and August 1957) were recorded in a trio session with only bass and drums accompanying Trane on tenor. The piano-less format is surprisingly full sounding and Coltrane’s solos are at once fun loving and thoughtful. The playing of Earl May (bass) and Art Taylor (drums) is warm and robust and perfectly compliments Coltrane’s muscular, R&B-inspired lyricism.

Tracks four and five (from January 1958) feature a different rhythm section along with some elegant, delicate piano work from Red Garland. The title track is an unabashedly romantic, film noir-ish tour-de-force that completely enthralls the listener for all of its nearly 14 minutes. In addition, the cut features an astonishingly beautiful trumpet solo from the great Donald Byrd. Recorded in the same period as BLUE TRAIN, one of Coltrane’s greatest masterpieces, LUSH LIFE is a perfect (and also, thanks to master engineer/producer Rudy Van Gelder, sonically stunning) example of the master’s early playing at it’s most sensitive and exuberant.

01. Like Someone in Love
02. I Love You
03. Trane’s Slo Blues
04. Lush Life
05. I Hear a Rhapsody

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