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John Coltrane 1963: New Directions makes Forbes 'Holiday Gift Guide'

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This season's slate of music box sets showcase not only eight of the greatest artists in music history, arguably half of the top 10 artists of the last 60 years, but they often show how they work. The documentary-style processes found in the works here from Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Joni Mitchell, as well as the retrospectives from Tom Petty, Neil Diamond and R.E.M. and the formative eras of David Bowie and John Coltrane, are as invigorating for their educational value as they are for their musical prowess. The detail and thought involved in each one of these sets could allow any fan to happily disappear in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, poring over every musical note and lyric, every picture or, in the case of Mitchell, painting,   biographical bit of info and interview in these collections. These are the ideal packages for the music lover in your life.

Jazz giant John Coltrane is, to me and artists from U2 and Elvis Costello to Bon Jovi and the Roots, all of whom have name-checked him in song, easily one of the top 10 most influential and important artists of the rock era (post 1955). So any posthumous music from him is significant. Earlier this year Impulse Recordings released the 1963 lost album Both Directions At Once. That is followed by this five-LP set, pairing the lost album with four other 1963 recordings, including John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman, Dear Old Stockholm and two live collections. For the way it compiles and chronicles an important year in the life of a true music legend, this is a very important collection.

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