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July 17, 2018



John Coltrane, “Both Directions at Once, the Lost Album” / Impulse (2018)





A few weeks ago, Impulse records released a new album by the late John Coltrane entitled “Both Directions at Once – The Lost Album”. It was a lost studio album from 1963 featuring his classic quartet with McCoy Tyner, piano, Jimmy Garrison, bass, Elvin Jones drums and Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophones.



History was in the making as the album put us in a time warp with one of the most important bands in Jazz during one of their most creative periods.





John Coltrane’s classic quartet in the recording studio in 1963. Photo/



Iconic saxophonist Sonny Rollins said “this is like finding a new room in the great pyramid”. This new release is a true treasure for Jazz fans around the world.



The story from Impulse goes like this:

“The first week of March in 1964 was busy for John Coltrane. He was in the midst of a two-week run at Birdland and was gearing up to record the famed John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album which he did on March 7. But there was a session the day before that was a stuff of legend, until now.





John Coltrane, photo /



On March 6, Coltrane and the quartet went to the legendary Van Gelder studios and cut a complete album’s worth of material, including several original compositions that were never recorded elsewhere. They spent the day committing different versions of these pieces to tape, playing them different ways and in different configurations.



At the end of the day, Coltrane left the studios with a reference tape and brought it to the home in Queens he shared with his wife Naima. These tapes remained untouched for the next 54 years until Impulse approached the family, including his son, Ravi Coltrane, about finally releasing the last album. Mr. Coltrane now presides over important reissues of his parent’s recordings.



The musical implications, the original compositions, the arrangements, the band, the year it was recorded, all amount to a rediscovery and re-contextualization of one of the most important musicians of our time.



“Both Directions at Once” features original never-before-heard compositions along with alternative versions of Trane’s classics from this period such as “Impressions”, “Nature Boy”, “One Up, One Down” and more”.



And, as you may know, “Jazz Notes” loves finding a Detroit connection to our many Jazz stories and features we present each week. Our connection here is to inform you that world-class saxophonist in his own right, Ravi Coltrane, is one of the headliners at this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival, August 31-September 3 in downtown Detroit. He will be presenting “Ravi Coltrane’s Universal Consciousness: Melodic Meditations of Alice Coltrane”. Go to for more information.







Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM (NPR), where she was Director of Programming and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.





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