John Coltrane, the saxophonist, is another influential Blue Note Artiste. He was certainly a virtuoso player. This track is notoriously difficult to solo over due to having three tonal centres that change almost every bar!

My Approach

I got around this by slowing it down and playing in Pentatonic scales sparingly. It's a great track and I found that doing it in the style of Weather Report worked best.

The faux lead bass line is me playing the lower registers of my Nylon stringed electro acoustic again. How do you like my trumpet solo, not a real one, the melody was played into MIDI and used a VSTi enhanced by a breath controller to make it more realistic. It's not 100% but almost indistinguishable from a real horn.

Musical analysis of Giant Steps

"Giant Steps" by John Coltrane is one of the most iconic and influential compositions in jazz history. Here's a brief musical analysis

1. Harmonic Complexity The defining feature of "Giant Steps" is its complex harmonic structure. It employs a series of rapid modulations through three tonal centers: B major, G major, and Eb major. Coltrane's use of a cycle of major thirds creates a sense of harmonic tension and movement.

2. Chord Progression The chord progression of "Giant Steps" consists of a series of major and minor ii-V-I progressions in each key center. These progressions move quickly and often utilize chromatic passing chords to connect distant tonal centers.

3. Melodic Development Coltrane's improvisation on "Giant Steps" is characterized by his signature "sheets of sound" technique, where he plays rapid streams of notes with remarkable fluency and precision. His melodic lines often incorporate arpeggios, scales, and chromaticism, demonstrating his virtuosic command of the saxophone.

4. Rhythmic Complexity The composition features a fast tempo and intricate rhythmic patterns, including syncopation and polyrhythms. The rhythm section, typically consisting of piano, bass, and drums, provides a solid foundation while also engaging in dynamic interplay with Coltrane's saxophone lines.

5. Form "Giant Steps" follows a standard 32-bar AABA form, with each A section featuring the rapid chord changes and modulations characteristic of the composition. The B section provides contrast with a more static harmonic progression, allowing for variation and exploration in improvisation.

6. Influence "Giant Steps" has had a profound impact on jazz musicians and continues to be a challenging piece for performers due to its harmonic complexity and rapid tempo. It represents a significant development in Coltrane's musical style and has become a landmark composition in the history of jazz.


Overall, "Giant Steps" showcases Coltrane's innovative approach to harmony, improvisation, and composition, solidifying his legacy as one of the most important figures in jazz music.