This week marks the birthday of John Coltrane. Born on September 23rd in 1926, he would have been 89. Since he accomplished an inestimable amount in his 41 years on the planet, it would be almost impossible to imagine what he would have done, had he been around to celebrate his birthday in 2015.
But speculations are always tantalizing, but the proof of his genius is in what he left, what we’re reminding ourselves of and what those who weren’t around at the time are just discovering now.
The recorded legacy John Coltrane left is large, the forward-thinking people (and broadcasting outlets) who recorded his work in concert and at clubs leave an even greater trove of material to study and absorb.
And even though the produced studio sessions are invaluable, the live material offers a glimpse, a study of work evolving; the woodshed part of creativity. And that’s an essential element in the appreciation of any artist.
Thankfully, much of his live work in Europe has been recorded, and in many cases issued commercially.
I don’t know for sure if this concert, recorded at the Konzerhaus in Stockholm by Sveriges Radio has been issued. It’s the first concert from November 23, 1961, and no doubt those studying the complete work of John Coltrane have this and know all the details. Suffice to say, the quartet consists of Coltrane, along with Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet and flute – McCoy Tyner on Piano – Reggie Workman on bass and Elvin Jones on drums.
As is the case with history, there are those ravages of time which come out in technical glitches and missing bits. But the overall sound of this concert is great and, as always, I strive to offer the best sounding aspect of history.
Enjoy and celebrate.