John Coltrane is one of jazz's most influential musicians, but one is hard put to find followers who actually play in his style. Rather, he is influential by example; inspiring musicians to experiment, take chances, and devote themselves to their craft. Interplay, a special 5-CD set highlighting Coltrane's side-man sessions of the 1950's, isn't just a window into his own art, it's a primer in 1950's jazz itself. The music recorded on these 5 CD's is nothing short of remarkable and sounds great.
If you can however I would highly recommend the Complete Prestige Recordings box set. It will set you back $300 but the music is priceless and some of Coltrane's best. Coltrane is heard here as leader of his own first albums, as a co-leader, as participant in a number of free-for-all jam sessions, as featured sideman, as frequent collaborator with Red Garland and Donald Byrd-actually in all his Prestige contexts except as a Miles Davis sideman (since those sessions are presently available in the boxed set of Miles's complete recordings for the label). There are 125 selections on these 16 compact discs, totaling almost 1100 minutes of music, an invaluable segment of the full story of one of the truly great creative jazz artists of all times.