Jazz aficionados worldwide have good reason to celebrate with the news of a new John Coltrane album that features lost performances from 1964! The album arrives on September 27 through Verve/Impulse! and is entitled Blue World. The 8-song collection features Coltrane’s “Classic Quartet” as recorded in a newly unearthed session at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in June of that year.
The sessions that make up Blue World were commissioned by Quebecois filmmaker Gille Groulx, a rabid Coltrane fan who was intent on getting the musician to score his love film Le chat dans le sac (or The Cat in the Bag). Amazingly, John Coltrane agreed and gathered Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner into the Van Gelder Studios to do something that he and the Quartet had rarely done before: to revisit and re-record older material. Here was Coltrane, between two of his most forward-looking, ground-breaking albums – Crescent and A Love Supreme – looking back on Atlantic-era sides like “Village Blues” and “Naima.”
Groulx witnessed the entire session, though it’s hard to pin down the extent of his creative involvement in the recording process. Nonetheless, he took the master of the session – a 1/4″ mono tape mixed by Van Gelder – back to Canada and ended up using only ten minutes of the music in his film. Now, the rest of the session will be released on CD, digital, and LP.
Blue World has been mastered from its original analog tapes by Kevin Reeves at Universal Music Mastering in New York, and the 180-gram vinyl edition was cut by the late Ron McMaster at Capitol and pressed at QRP. Both the CD and vinyl configurations feature the entire session, with two takes of “Naima,” three takes of “Village Blues,” and a take each of “Like Sonny,” “Traneing In,” and “Blue World.” The title track will be available as an instant grat track and was just released as a single. You can give it a listen below! In addition to the music, the album will include new notes by renowned jazz historian and Coltrane authority Ashley Kahn.
As Verve/Impulse note in their press release, Blue World gives listeners new and old a unique view into Coltrane’s creative process and the remarkable interplay that became a signature of the Classic Quartet. Even revisiting older material, Coltrane, Garrison, Jones and Tyner deliver intense and beautiful performances during a fascinating period of creative growth. In short, it’s a must for Coltrane fans old and new.
So place your pre-orders with the link below and whet your appetite with “Blue World,” the new John Coltrane single from June ’64!
John Coltrane, Blue World (Verve/Impulse! B0030158-01, 2019)
Single on Spotify: Spotify
1. Naima (Take 1)
2. Village Blues (Take 2)
3. Blue World
4. Village Blues (Take 1)
5. Village Blues (Take 3)
6. Like Sonny
7. Traneing In
8. Naima (Take 2)