Via JazzTimes, the Inside Story of the John Coltrane Quartet’s Lost Album:
It wasn’t that the session was unknown, but it seemed a given that it would be forever unheard. Researchers and scholars of John Coltrane had long known that on March 6, 1963, the legendary saxophonist had taken his classic quartet (with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones) into Rudy Van Gelder’s recording studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. They’d laid down seven tunes, including Coltrane’s “Impressions” and four untitled originals, along with two covers.
The existence of the session was documented in the archives of Impulse! Records, Coltrane’s label and the date’s financier. Around 1978, Michael Cuscuna found producer Bob Thiele’s session logbook while working in those archives; musician and discographer David Wild included the information in his 1979 publication The Recordings of John Coltrane. One tune, “Vilia,” was issued on a 1965 compilation of Impulse! outtakes. The others were considered lost, probably for all time, in an early-’70s purge of Impulse!’s tape library.
History, however, had other plans. On July 29 of this year, Verve Label Group, which now owns the Impulse! catalogue, released a package titled Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album. It features all seven tunes, selected as masters and carefully sequenced as an album-length artistic statement. (A two-disc deluxe set is also available, including the alternate complete takes.) “We are treating this as a front-line release,” says Ken Druker, vice president of Jazz Development at Verve Label Group, who coproduced the disc with Coltrane’s son Ravi. “This is not a catalogue release. This is a new album.”
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