John Coltrane Lost Album - Both Directions at Once
"It's like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid." those were the words of saxophonist legend Sonny Rollins when asked about a lost and recently found John Coltrane recording.
When Saxophonist John Coltrane died in 1967 at the age of 40, the world lost a brilliant mind and a true music genius. Sonny Rollins, still alive, was one of Coltrane closest friends and also a genius and Jazz Legend on his own right.
The music of Coltrane, more than 50 years after his death, is still as relevant today as it was back then. So finding a lost recording by Trane is certainly big news in the jazz and music world.
The music on this lost album was recorded in 1963, by a group of musicians that were regarded (and still is today) as one of the best bands in the history of jazz. Elvin Jones on drums, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and of course John Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophone, established a jazz sound and style that is still a point of reference to jazz musicians today.
The master tapes were found in the basement of Coltrane's first wife Naima. The album was recorded right before the Coltrane/Johnny Hartman album and at a time when the group were playing some dates at Birdland, and the approach to the music has some similarities to the way the group played live.
Back in 1963 Coltrane was in a transition period, still playing in the blues, bebop style of his 1950's recordings, as in "Slow Blues", but already pushing forward with fearless experimentations and with the new ideas providing a glimpse of his avant garde period of later years as can be heard in "One up and Down", "11383" and "11386".
The album also includes new improvisational explorations of already known Trane classics like "Impressions", the more subtle and conventional approach in the tune Vila, a Coltrane interpretation of an Aria by Franz Christian Lehar, and the modal take on the song "Nature Boy".
The tittle for the album Both Directions at Once, according to his son Ravi Coltrane, came from a conversation between John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, about both of them playing a musical idea starting from the middle and moving at both directions at once.
Both Directions at Once is a recording of great musicians at the top of their game. No doubt, Jazz aficionados will be delighted with the opportunity of listening to new and extraordinary Coltrane music once again. The fact that Coltrane, Tyner, Jones and Garrison though this amazing recording was not good enough for them to release it only speak to the greatness of this superb group.
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Lost studio album from John Coltrane to be released on Impulse! June 29 - Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
Features original, never-before-heard compositions, recorded by Coltrane's Classic Quartet in 1963 at Van Gelder Studios
"Untitled Original 11383" available June 8
On March 6, 1963, John Coltrane and his Classic Quartet - McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones - recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, which features unheard originals, will finally be released 55 years later. This is, in short, the holy grail of jazz.
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will be released on June 29 on Impulse! Records, Coltrane's final and most creative label home.
The first week of March in 1963 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was the stuff of legend, until now.
On Wednesday, March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ and cut a complete album's worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere. They spent the day committing these to tape, taking time with some, rehearsing them two, three times, playing them in different ways and in different configurations.
At the end of the day, Coltrane left Van Gelder Studios with a reference tape and brought it to the home in Queens that he shared with his wife, Naima. These tapes remained untouched for the next 54 years until Impulse! approached the family about finally releasing this lost album. Though the master tape was never found-Rudy Van Gelder wasn't one for clutter-the reference tape was discovered to be in excellent condition.
As the legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins so rightly put it, "This is like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid." The musical implications of this album, the original compositions, the arrangements, the band, the year it was recorded, all amount to a rediscovery and re-contextualization of one of the most important musicians of our time.
Danny Bennett, President and CEO of the Verve Label Group and home of Impulse! records, says, "Jazz is more relevant today than ever. It's becoming the alternative music of the 21st century, and no one embodies the boundary-breaking essence of jazz more than John Coltrane. He was a visionary who changed the course of music, and this lost album is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. It gives us insight into his creative process and connects us to his artistry. This album is a cultural moment and the release coincides perfectly with our relaunch of the iconic Impulse! label."
On this album, there are two completely unknown and never-before-heard originals. "Untitled Original 11383" and "Untitled Original 11386," both played on soprano sax. "11383" features an arco bass solo by Jimmy Garrison, a relative rarity, and "11386" marks a significant structural change for the quartet, in that they keep returning to the theme between solos, not typical in the quartet's repertoire.
In addition to the two unheard originals, "One Up, One Down" - released previously only on a bootleg recording from Birdland - is heard here as a studio recording for the first and only time. It contains a fascinating exchange between Elvin Jones and Coltrane.
"Impressions," one of Coltrane's most famous and oft-recorded compositions, is played here in a piano-less trio. In fact, McCoy Tyner lays out a number of times during this recording session. It's one of the more interesting aspects of this session and reflects the harmonic possibilities that Coltrane was known to be discussing regularly with Ornette Coleman around this time.
This studio session also yielded Coltrane's first recording of "Nature Boy," which he would record again in 1965, and the two versions differ greatly. The one we know is exploratory, meandering. This version is tight, solo-less and clocking in at just over three minutes. The other non-original composition on the album is "Vilia," from Franz Lehár's operetta "The Merry Widow."
The soprano version on the Deluxe Edition is the only track from this session to have been previously released.
This incredible, once-in-a-lifetime discovery reveals a number of creative balances at work, like developing original melodies while rethinking familiar standards. Trying out some tunes first on tenor saxophone, then on soprano. Using older techniques like the arpeggio runs of his "sheets of sound" while experimenting with false fingerings and other newer sounds. This session was pivotal, though to call it such overlooks the fact Coltrane was ever on pivot, always pushing the pedal down while still calling on older, tested ideas and devices.
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is a major addition to the Coltrane catalogue and the most important jazz discovery in recent memory.
This historic session resulted in 14 tracks in total. On the standard edition, there are 7 takes, chosen by Ravi Coltrane. The rest of the takes exist on the second disc of the deluxe set. There will be a standard CD and LP and a deluxe CD and LP available on June 29 on Impulse! The deluxe edition will exist on all digital streaming platforms as well.
Friday, June 29, 2018
45 years after his album debut, four-time Grammy® Award-winning bassist Stanley Clarke shows he is still unapproachable on both the electric and acoustic, wielding a vision of fusion and funk, breakbeats and bass-interpreted cello suites with a little help from friends like rapper/beatboxer Doug E. Fresh and trumpeter Mark Isham. Backed by a young versatile band and a collection of tunes written in the midst of a tumultuous tour of Europe, The Message (available now from Mack Avenue Records) swells with an abundance of strength, soul and astounding musicianship.
The Message is unmistakably a Stanley Clarke record. Five decades of unapproachable bass mastery doesn't come easy and Clarke has no interest in relinquishing his throne. Propelled by the youthfulness of his bandmates: Cameron Graves on synthesizers, Beka Gochiashvilion acoustic piano, Mike Mitchell on drums, and of course Stanley Clarke on bass, reaches even deeper into his bag of tricks for an incredibly satisfying listen.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018
Record Store Day 2018: 10 jazz records you need to know about
Monday, April 2, 2018
Thursday, March 29, 2018
Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim with Strings
FRIDAY, JULY 20 - 7:30 P.M.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Neighborhood Week comes to MCG Jazz to celebrate the music of renowned Brazilian icon, Antonio Carlos Jobim, with strings.
Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra strings and woodwind sections will be joined by guest soloists - vocalist Maucha Adnet and percussionist Duduka da Fonseca– each a native of Brazil –both of whom worked closely with Jobim. Additional special guests include, pianist Tamir Hendelman and guitarist Marty Ashby.
Each of these musicians are internationally recognized for expanding the worlds of jazz and Latin music. Come enjoy the music of Jobim performed by those who know it best.
Buy tickets at