Lost Recording Of John Coltrane’s Never-Heard-Before 1961 Village Gate Residency Finds Its Way To Official Release

It’s a blessing to be alive in a day and age when legendary recordings lost to time become discovered. For groundbreaking and innovative artists like John Coltrane, live recordings paint a clearer trajectory of his musical evolution. 

Jazz fans across the world will soon get to experience a performance from a formative time in his career. Casual jazz listeners are probably all too familiar with the box set featuring Coltrane’s legendary Village Vanguard residency of 1961. 

The Village Vanguard residency displays the directional shifts Coltrane was heavily experimenting with at the time. At the same time, there has always felt a gap in historical records illustrating how he got to that sound. 

Recently, a recording from Coltrane’s August 1961 residency at the Village Gate was discovered at the New York Public Library. This is notable for numerous reasons, the biggest being that it takes place a month before the Village Vanguard recordings.

Another reason is that the Village Gate residency features a rare lineup combination that only lasted a short while. This recording features Eric Dolphy (second horn), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums). 

John Coltrane's Evenings At The Village Gate

The Village Gate residency is known for being a time when Coltrane started to really test the limits of form. As this is the year of Coltrane’s reinvention, this recording is akin to witnessing the lighting of his career’s fuse. 

It’s important to note that nothing from this month-long residency has ever been released to the public. In fact, the recording was only done as a sound system test by engineer Richard Alderson to ensure its capabilities. 

According to NPR’s All Things Considered, the entire recording was captured by means of one ribbon cable. The recording was never done for the purpose of an official or bootleg release and was subsequently stashed away. 

Now, all these years later, fans get to experience a lost period in one of the most innovative jazz pioneers. Evenings At The Village Gate is now prepped for official release on July 14, featuring 5 tracks spanning 80 minutes. 

Some of these tracks are considered staples in Coltrane’s catalog, with the tracklist as follows:

  1. My Favorite Things
  2. When Lights Are Low 
  3. Impressions
  4. Greensleeves
  5. Africa

Impulse! Records have released the performance of Impressions as a single in advance of the full album release. This track is brimming with non-stop energy that can only make one more excited for Evenings At The Village Gate.

You can hear the performance of Impressions in the video provided below.

Pre-sales are currently live for anyone wanting a physical copy of Evenings At The Village Gate. You can view the official announcement on John Coltrane’s Facebook page here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *