Lost John Coltrane album finally set for release
June 20, 2018
A lost 1963 recording by jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane has been discovered and is set for release later this month.
Until now the album, ‘Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album,’ was presumed lost as no master was known to exist. However, Coltrane gifted a reference tape to his wife, Naima, which was surprisingly in good enough condition to release.
The first posthumous release in 20 years, the album was recorded in March 1963 with Coltrane’s most famous quartet which featured Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums and McCoy Tyner on piano.
1963 sits amid a seminal time for Coltrane, two years prior to recording his most celebrated album ‘A Love Supreme’.
Programme leader for Ara Institute of Canterbury and saxophone player Gwyn Reynolds said the album was likely to exemplify a “transitional” period.
“I think it’ll be a transitional album. From post-bop emerging into pre-‘Love Supreme’ stuff,” Reynolds said.
“I’m interested to see if you can hear glimpses of what he was trying to achieve later on with ‘Love Supreme’.”
Coltrane was a true innovator for jazz music, particularly through the 1950s and 1960s.
“There’s a couple of guys that really reshaped jazz. Miles Davis was one, Charlie Parker was another, and Coltrane is up there as well,” Reynolds said.
“It’s kind of like saying what impact did Einstein have on science.”
He developed his sound through supporting jazz heavy weights such as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. He performed on the best-selling jazz album of all time, Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’.
His sound progressed through phases of bebop and hard bop into free-jazz, where he was at his most experimental.
Prior to his death in 1967 at age 40, Coltrane spent his final years heavily exploring spirituality after a religious awakening helped him shake addictions to alcohol and heroin.
His albums ‘Blue Train’, ‘Giant Steps’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ are considered essential to the modern jazz canon, among others.
- Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will be released June 29.