Exposé Online banner

John Coltrane — The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
(Impulse IMPD4-232, 1961/1997, 4CD)

John Coltrane — The Other Village Vanguard Tapes
(Impulse MCD0413, 1961/1987, 2CD)

John Coltrane — The Mastery of John Coltrane Vol. IV - Trane's Modes
(Impulse 254 650-2, 1961/1987, 2CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-06-15

The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings Cover artThe Other Village Vanguard Tapes Cover artThe Mastery of John Coltrane Vol. IV - Trane's Modes Cover art

Going to knock off three with one go here. So I think the first Coltrane I heard that grabbed my attention was the double LP The Other Village Vanguard Tapes, and then of course from there my interest in the great sax player severely waxed. I've covered some of what I think are the great live stints, including those by the Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, and Cream, and probably other artists I'm forgetting, but definitely on that list is this series of shows from 1961. If Coltrane arrived as a journeyman with Miles, and reached classic status with A Love Supreme, I think this is where he arrived as a solo artist (arguably you could say that with Giant Steps too), although not only should a lot of the credit go to his back up band but the inclusion of Eric Dolphy as well. It's interesting because I don't rate the original three-song album (1962's "Live" at the Village Vanguard) quite so highly, maybe because it's not really as lengthy a selection of the goodness found on the subsequent releases, but I also tend to prefer the band playing all together and occasionally at the Village Vanguard Tyner would step out and let the trio go.

When they finally released the entire box set, I got it as a gift for Christmas and listening to it still brings me back to that time where I played almost nothing except this set for a few weeks. Coltrane and the band touch on a lot of various styles here, but most importantly all of the sets had the youth and vigor of the very best jazz, and both sax players were flamethrowers at times, but then also Coltrane could get relaxed and he always did such a great version of "Greensleeves," which also cements that Christmas listen session for me. I'm also a huge fan of the way they incorporate Eastern music along with the jazz in certain spots.

I include Trane's Modes on here as well as it has more of the then outtakes from the Village Vanguard along with some other sessions, so really no matter how you divide everything they're all classics of jazz.


Filed under: Reissues, 1997 releases, 1961 recordings, 1987 releases

Related artist(s): John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anekdoten - Gravity – The most distinctive things about Anekdoten have always been overdriven bass, Mellotron, cello, and the vocals. This CD answers the question of what happens when you remove two of those elements,...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues