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From dusty shelves to our ears:
Coltrane’s unreleased recordings
came out 55 years later

Blog
From dusty shelves to our ears: Coltrane’s unreleased recordings came out 55 years later

01.08.2018

John Coltrane, one of the strongest figures of music history, left behind an impressive discography of 45 albums when he passed away at the early age of 40 in 1967. An inspiring and pioneer musician for all the generations after him, Coltrane’s most famous album is, without a doubt, A Love Supreme. And last month, an album that was recorded seven months before A Love Supreme but never released, came into daylight.

Recorded at the New Jersey studio of one of the secret heroes of jazz, Rudy Van Gelder, with Elvin Jones on the drums, McCoy Tyner on the piano and Jimmy Garrison on the bass; this seven-track album is released with the title The Lost Album. And exactly on the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s death, The Lost Album, which was recorded during one day back in 1963, found its way to the shelves. The recordings were made while the band was rehearsing and trying out new ideas at Van Gelder’s studio. After the recordings were done, Coltrane took the master recording with him home and shared it only with his wife Naima but no one else until his death.

The name that conduced to the release of the album was also none other than Naima. When she took the recordings to the prestigious label that released numerous recordings during 1960’s, Impulse! Records, she presented a hidden treasure from music history to all jazz fans. The album contains two brand new compositions as well as familiar tunes such as one of Coltrane’s most popular songs, ‘‘Impressions’’ and ‘‘One Up, One Down’’, which was only released in live recordings before.

Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album also carried John Coltrane to the highest point on Billboard charts in his music career. 50 years after Coltrane’s death, this album made the Billboard Top 40, which is a first for the legend. Another legend, Sonny Rollins summarized this gem of a release best: ‘‘This is like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.’’

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