Recorded in 1958 but released in 1964, Black Pearls could be called a cash-grab from the label. The songs were recorded as part of a session to bulk out someone else’s album, but unused at the time. When Coltrane became popular, the label dug out the tracks, credited it as Coltrane, and sold it as a new album. That’s the music industry.

Does that mean this is a bad album? No, it’s nice. Not a masterpiece, but good, late 50’s Coltrane ‘sheets’ era jamming with Donald Byrd, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, and Art Taylor. The three songs range from boppy to bluesy.

You do get the sense the music doesn’t have the singular dirving vision as a true Coltrane-guided album. Really minor or inconsequential to the discography of anyone involved. Still, it’s good music, a fine asside to the essentials.

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