- 09 Jul 18
Delayed 'Trane finally arrives.
For jazzers, the release of these long missing tapes is something akin to Christians finding another set of gospels down the back of the couch. Recorded in March 1963, the day before the John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album – Hartman’s mannered croon is a bit of an acquired taste – these seven recordings, last seen on a reference tape under Coltrane’s arm as he left the studio, are pretty stunning.
Coltrane’s soprano sax swoops and dives on ‘Untitled Original 11383’ before a duel between the bass of Jimmy Garrison and the piano of McCoy Tyner – Garrison even gives it a bit of bow work for an unusual arco solo. Elvin Jones’ magic touch, especially on cymbals and toms, allows Coltrane to take flight during ‘Untitled Original 11386’, and they furiously play off each other on ‘One Up, One Down’. ‘Villa’ features a gorgeously rolling Tyner solo, and the eleven plus minutes ‘Slow Blues’ is, if anything, too short.
Coltrane heads will already know his reading of ‘Nature Boy’ on 1965’s The John Coltrane Quartet Plays album where he takes the melody and heads for the stratosphere. Here, we get a more reserved and concise, but still welcome, take. Although recorded live many times, this is only the second studio recording of ‘Impressions’. It’s probably most familiar from the epic 1961 Village Vanguard live version. The piano-less - Tyner must have been out having a smoke - four-minute go on this release is vaguely akin to a sped-up take on Miles Davis’ ‘So What’, with which it shares a chord sequence.
A welcome addition then to the canon of one of the finest musicians ever to draw, and blow, breath. And how about that band?