John Coltrane - The Lost Album

So by now most everyone who listens to jazz has heard of Coltrane's "lost album". This was a session that was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in 1963 whose master tapes the jazz label Impulse ended up destroying to save space. Fortunately, some extra copies were made at the time and when a bunch of Coltrane related stuff was going to be auctioned, Impulse heard about it and acquired the copy before it went to auction. As most lost tapes go, they're usually extra takes or stuff that's generally interesting and kind of cool to have but not much beyond that. This album, however, could have been a legit release on its own and was put back together with the help of Coltrane's son, Ravi.

This was the classic quartet with McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison and was recorded a day before their session with Johnny Hartman. It includes Impressions which was released as an album from other recordings, Nature Boy, Villa, Slow Blues, One up, One down as well as several untitled songs. The deluxe version, which is the one that I purchased, is a double LP with several takes of each.

The sleeve has a pretty cool design where there are triangular arrows pointing in opposite directions, thus Both Directions At Once, which is the name of the album. It also included a poster inside with a photo of the session and liner notes on the other side by Ashley Kahn. I think the other edition may have had liner notes by Sonny Rollins.

The album is definitely worth getting. It's more of that era of Coltrane, free and bold, and the untitled tracks are a real treat to listen to. It really is a lost album.

Filed under: Music