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Lost John Coltrane Album Resurfaces 55 Years After Being Recorded, Set To Release

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Few musicians possessed the genius and ground-breaking artistry of jazz like John Coltrane. The iconic saxophonist has been described as visionary and ahead of his time, with an attractive performance energy that left audiences salivating for more.

Coltrane was just 40 years old when he passed away in 1967. But the musical giant left behind a treasure — a long-lost studio album that had been quietly tucked away for 55 years, aching to be heard.

“This is, in short, the holy grail of jazz,” Impulse! Records said of the album’s discovery. The studio session was recorded in one day by Coltrane’s Classic Quartet in 1963, at Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, New Jersey.

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According to Impulse, Coltrane was immersed in an avalanche of activity during the days and weeks after the album was recorded, playing constantly. Coltrane took his personal copy of the recording home to his wife Naima, in Queens, New York.

Naima stashed the tape away for safekeeping. The pair divorced in 1966, and the recording has been in her possession for the past 55 years.

The recording, titled “Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album” will be released on June 29 on Impulse! Records. The album has seven tracks, two completely never-before-heard original compositions, called “Untitled Original 11383” and “Untitled Original 11386.”



Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album” is a major addition to the Coltrane catalogue and the most important jazz discovery in recent memory,” Impulse! Records wrote online.

Danny Bennett, President and CEO of the Verve Label Group, released a statement on Coltrane’s exciting new gem.

“He was a visionary who changed the course of music, and this lost album is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Bennett said. “It gives us insight into his creative process and connects us to his artistry.”

Coltrane’s son and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane helped prepare his late father’s album for release. “In 1963, all these musicians are reaching some of the heights of their musical powers,” Ravi Coltrane said.

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“On this record, you do get a sense of John with one foot in the past and one foot headed toward his future.” Coltrane added that his father was always mutating and pushing himself artistically, changing things up just as an audience began to get used to his sound.

The album’s title, according to saxophonist Wayne Shorter, came from a compositional tip Coltrane gave him. The idea centred around the middle: “starting a sentence in the middle, and then going to the beginning and the end of it at the same time.”

It seems appropriate for an artist like Coltrane — living in the middle, with one foot in the past and the other stepping into the future.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Birthplace
Page, Arizona
Education
Bachelor of Science in Music Education
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Lifestyle & Human Interest




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