Lost John Coltrane Album Gets First Ever Release

A new, never-before-heard John Coltrane soundtrack album is set to see the light of day. Blue World was recorded by the saxophone legend with his all-star classic quartet in 1964 and will be released via Impulse!/UMe on September 27 – a little over a year after the release of his previously lost album, Both Directions at Once, and just a few days after what would have been Coltrane’s 93rs birthday. You can listen to Blue World‘s hypnotic title track via the player below.

Blue World was recorded by Coltrane with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones at New Jersey’s famed Van Gelder Studios and mixed by Rudy Van Gelder on June 24, 1964 – between the recording sessions for Crescent and A Love Supreme. The music was originally intended for a little-known French New Wave-inspired Canadian feature film called Le chat dans le sac (English title: The Cat in the Bag), at the request of Quebecois filmmaker Gilles Groulx, who was a huge fan of the saxophonist/composer.

This session also stands as somewhat of an anomaly; rather than documenting new music, Blue World consists of new takes on pieces he had recorded before, which was something he rarely ever did. Tracks include “Village Blues,” “Like Sonny,” “Traneing In” and the classic ballad “Naima.” The slow-burning waltz “Blue World” employs the chord changes from Harold Arlen’s “Out of This World,” which the saxophonist had recorded for his 1962 LP, Coltrane.

Only ten minutes of the 37-minute recording session appeared on the final cut of Le chat dans le sac and none of its music has ever appeared on any prior album. Thankfully, the original tapes from the session eventually made their way to the National Film Board of Canada. Impulse! got its hands on them early last year, remastered them and will make the entire session available on vinyl, CD and digital download on September 27.

Photos courtesy of Impulse!/UMe.

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