The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings

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The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings
Box set by John Coltrane
Released 1995
Recorded 1959-1961
Genre Jazz
Length 407:20
Label Atlantic
Producer Nesuhi Ertegün and Joel Dorn

The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings is a 1995 box set by jazz musician John Coltrane. It features all of the recordings Coltrane made for Atlantic Records, spanning January 15, 1959 to May 25, 1961.

During Coltrane’s Atlantic years, he made important recordings such as Giant Steps and My Favorite Things, recorded albums with Milt Jackson, Don Cherry, and Eric Dolphy and made his debut on the soprano saxophone.

Atlantic Albums[edit]

Coltrane recorded 8 albums for Atlantic, plus two compilation albums released posthumously. See the individual articles for discussions of these albums, all of which are included in the Atlantic box:


The seventh CD of this set features all of Coltrane's Atlantic outtakes (the rest were lost due to fire), including no fewer than ten incomplete and alternative versions of "Giant Steps".[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Penguin Guide to Jazz4/4 stars
(Crown award)
Allmusic5/5 stars[2]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz assigned its "Crown" award to the box set, in addition to giving it a four-star rating (of a possible four).[1] In spite of the accolade, authors Richard Cook and Brian Morton noted that the box set presents a problem for collectors who already own the constituent albums (all of which were in print at the time of the box set's release), but who are seeking the additional material only available on the seventh disc.[1] Cook and Morton also took issue with what they deemed an "ugly title" for the set.[1]

Allmusic gave the album a five-star rating (of a possible five).[2] Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that "the scope of this music is, quite simply, breathtaking — not only was Coltrane developing at a rapid speed, but the resulting music encompasses nearly every element that made him a brilliant musician, and it is beautiful."[2]

Track listing[edit]

Original CD release The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings , 1995 (Atlantic)

(The LP each song originally appeared on is listed in parentheses)

Disc 1

  1. "Stairway to the Stars" 3:29 (Bags & Trane)
  2. "The Late Late Blues" 9:33 (Bags & Trane)
  3. "Bags & Trane" 7:24 (Bags & Trane)
  4. "Three Little Words" 7:28 (Bags & Trane)
  5. "The Night We Called it a Day" 4:20 (Bags & Trane)
  6. "Be-Bop" 7:58 (Bags & Trane)
  7. "Blues Legacy" 9:02 (Bags & Trane)
  8. "Centerpiece" 7:06 (Bags & Trane)
  9. "Giant Steps" 3:41 (alternative)
  10. "Naima" 4:28 (alternative)
  11. "Like Sonny" 6:03 (alternative)

Disc 2

  1. "Spiral" 5:56 (Giant Steps)
  2. "Countdown" 2:21 (master) (Giant Steps)
  3. "Countdown" 4:32 (alternative)
  4. "Syeeda’s Song Flute" 7:00 (master) (Giant Steps)
  5. "Syeeda’s Song Flute" 7:05 (alternative)
  6. "Mr. P.C." 6:56 (Giant Steps)
  7. "Giant Steps" (master) 4:44 (Giant Steps)
  8. "Cousin Mary" (master) 5:46 (Giant Steps)
  9. "Cousin Mary" 5:44 (alternative)
  10. "I’ll Wait and Pray" 3:32 (master) (Coltrane Jazz)
  11. "I’ll Wait and Pray" 3:25 (alternative)
  12. "Little Old Lady" 4:24 (Coltrane Jazz)

Disc 3

  1. "Like Sonny" (master) (Coltrane Jazz)
  2. "Harmonique" (Coltrane Jazz)
  3. "My Shining Hour" (Coltrane Jazz)
  4. "Naima" (Giant Steps)
  5. "Some Other Blues" (Coltrane Jazz)
  6. "Fifth House" (Coltrane Jazz)
  7. "Cherryco" (The Avant-Garde)
  8. "The Blessing" (The Avant-Garde)
  9. "Focus on Sanity" (The Avant-Garde)
  10. "The Invisible" (The Avant-Garde)
  11. "Bemsha Swing" (The Avant-Garde)

Disc 4

  1. "Village Blues" (master) (Coltrane Jazz)
  2. "Village Blues" (alternative)
  3. "My Favorite Things" (My Favorite Things)
  4. "Central Park West" (Coltrane's Sound)
  5. "Mr. Syms" (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  6. "Untitled Original (exotica)" (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  7. "Summertime" (My Favorite Things)
  8. "Body and Soul" (master) (Coltrane's Sound)
  9. "Body and Soul" (alternative)
  10. "Mr. Knight" (Coltrane Plays the Blues)

Disc 5

  1. "Blues to Elvin" (alternative)
  2. "Blues to Elvin" (master) (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  3. "Mr. Day" (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  4. "Blues to You" (alternative)
  5. "Blues to You" (master) (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  6. "Blues to Bechet" (Coltrane Plays the Blues)
  7. "Satellite" (Coltrane's Sound)
  8. "Everytime We Say Goodbye" (My Favorite Things)
  9. "26-2" (Coltrane's Sound)
  10. "But Not For Me" (My Favorite Things)

Disc 6

  1. "Liberia" (Coltrane's Sound)
  2. "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (Coltrane's Sound)
  3. "Equinox" (Coltrane's Sound)
  4. "Olé" (Olé Coltrane)
  5. "Dahomey Dance" (Olé Coltrane)
  6. "Aisha" (Olé Coltrane)
  7. "Original Untitled Ballad (To Her Ladyship)" (Olé Coltrane)

Disc 7 (outtakes)

  • 1-7 - “Giant Steps”
  • 8-12 – “Naima”
  • 13-20 – “Like Sonny”
  • 21-22 – “Giant Steps”
  • 23-24 – “Blues to Elvin”
  • 25 – “Blues to You”


Recorded between January 15, 1959 and May 25, 1961 in New York City.


  1. ^ a b c d e Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (1996) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (3rd ed.). New York: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-051368-X. 
  2. ^ a b c The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings at AllMusic