If you heard the John Coltrane Quartet live in the early-to-mid-1960s, you were at risk of having your entire understanding of performance rewired. This was a ground-shaking band, an almost physical being, bearing a promise that seemed to reach far beyond music.
The quartet’s relationship to the studio, however, was something different. In the years leading up to “A Love Supreme,” his explosive 1965 magnum opus, Coltrane produced eight albums for Impulse! Records featuring the members of his so-called classic quartet — the bassist Jimmy Garrison, the drummer Elvin Jones and the pianist McCoy Tyner — but only two of those, “Coltrane” and “Crescent,” were earnest studio efforts aimed at distilling the band’s live ethic.
On June 29TH, Impulse! released “Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album,” a full set of material recorded by the quartet on a single day in March 1963, at New Jersey's Rudy Van Gelder Studio; then stashed away and finally lost when Impulse threw away stored material on a clean-up.
However, the family of Coltrane’s first wife, Juanita Naima Coltrane, recently discovered John’s personal copy of the recordings, which she had saved, and brought it to the label’s attention. There are seven tunes on this collection plus 7 alternate takes (included on the deluxe edition), a well-hewed mix that clearly suggests Coltrane had his sights on creating a full album that day. From the sound of it, this would have been an important one.
The standard version of the album features seven out of the session’s 14 takes, while a deluxe edition includes all of the tracks. Both versions now be available on CD and vinyl formats.
JOHN COLTRANE, trumpet McCOY TYNER, piano JIMMY GARRISON, bass ELVIN JONES, drums
Recorded on Wednesday 6 of May, on Van Gelder Englewood Studios, New Jersey
01. Untitled Original 11383 (Take 1) 02. Nature Boy 03. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 1) (8:43) 04. Vilia (Take 3) 05. Impressions (Take 3) 06. Slow Blues 07. One Up, One Down (Take 1)
01. Vilia (Take 5) 02. Impressions (Take 1) 03. Impressions (Take 2) 04. Impressions (Take 4) 05. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 2) 06. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 5) 07. One Up, One Down (Take 6)