Giant steps

Giant Steps is a 1960 studio album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released on Atlantic Records.

Giant Steps was his second album to be recorded by the Atlantic label, and marked the first time that all of the pieces on a recording had been composed by him. The recording exemplifies Coltrane's melodic phrasing that came to be known as sheets of sound, and features the use of a new harmonic concept now referred to as Coltrane changes. Jazz musicians continue to use the "Giant Steps" chord progression, which consists of a peculiar set of chord progressions which often move in thirds, as a practice piece and as a gateway into modern jazz improvisation. The ability to play over the "Giant Steps"/Coltrane cycle remains to this day one of the benchmark standards by which a jazz musician's improvising skill is measured.

The album is also considered to be Coltrane's farewell to bebop. He ventured into the territory of modal jazz shortly afterwards.

Several pieces on this album went on to become jazz standards, such as "Naima", "Giant Steps", "Cousin Mary", "Countdown", and "Mr. P.C."


The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" calling it "Trane's first genuinely iconic record."[1] In 2003, the album was ranked number 102 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, it was one of fifty recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Track listingEdit

All tracks composed by John Coltrane.

Side one
  1. "Giant Steps" – 4:43
  2. "Cousin Mary" – 5:45
  3. "Countdown" – 2:21
  4. "Spiral" – 5:56
Side two
  1. "Syeeda's Song Flute" – 7:00
  2. "Naima" – 4:21
  3. "Mr. P.C." (Mr. Paul Chambers) – 6:57
Additional takes first released on Alternate Takes, 1974
  1. "Giant Steps" – 3:40
  2. "Naima" – 4:27
  3. "Cousin Mary" – 5:54
  4. "Countdown" – 4:33
  5. "Syeeda's Song Flute" – 7:02
Additional takes first released on The Heavyweight Champion: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, August 1995
  1. "Giant Steps" – 3:32
  2. "Naima" – 3:37
  3. "Giant Steps" – 5:00



Recorded May 4 and 5, 1959: main take tracks 1–5, 7; alternative take tracks 10–12, and additional alternative track 15.

Recorded December 2, 1959: main take track 6

Recorded April 1 (March 26 according to Rhino liner notes) 1959: alternative tracks 8 and 9, and additional alternative tracks 13 and 14

Technical staff
Reissue technical staff
  • Vanessa Atkins – editorial supervision
  • Hugh Brown – reissue art direction
  • Bob Carlton – reissue supervision
  • Steven Chean – editorial supervision
  • Rachel Gutek – reissue design
  • Nat Hentoffliner notes
  • Patrick Milligan – reissue supervision
  • Ted Meyers – editorial coordination
  • Elizabeth Pavone – editorial coordination
  • Julee Stover – editorial supervision

Release historyEdit

  • 1960 (Atlantic Records, vinyl)
  • 1990 (Atlantic Records, remastered CD)
with alternative takes 8–12
  • 1994 (Mobile Fidelity, Gold CD)
with alternative takes 8–12
  • 1998 (Rhino Records, Deluxe Edition CD, 180-gram vinyl)
with alternative takes 8–12 and additional alternative takes 13–15, no alternative takes on vinyl
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