THE LAST TRANE features two standards and two originals from the end of Coltrane's tenure with the Prestige record label. It was recorded in loosely organized sessions that limited Coltrane to standards and blues, but gave him freedom in their arrangement and execution. This spontaneity shows up in the free, loose (but never aimless) versions of "Lover" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," on which Coltrane is joined by the emerging trumpeter Donald Byrd.
An underlying impression of the musicians' familiarity with the material lends these tunes a unified feeling, while Coltrane's unique expression also shines through. "By the Numbers" features a compelling solo by pianist Red Garland, whose blues themes are ultimately picked up and explored even further by Coltrane himself. "Slowtrane" is a deeper, more melancholy exploration of the blues.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on August 16, 1957 and January 10 & March 26, 1958. Originally released on Prestige (7378). Includes liner notes by Jack McKinney.