A Lost John Coltrane Album Is Finally Being Released After 55 Years

Music News

A long-lost album from John Coltrane and his classic quartet will be released later this month, via Impulse! Records. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album features never-before heard original compositions that were recorded at New Jersey’s famed Van Gelder Studios, a day before Coltrane recorded the lauded joint LP, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.

On March 6, 1963, Coltrane and the quartet — McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones — worked for an entire day carefully recording an album’s worth of material. The group rehearsed up to three times for some songs, and discovered different ways to reconfigure the original music.

After the session, Coltrane took a reference tape to the home in Queens that he shared with his first wife, Naima. The tapes remained untouched for more than five decades until, Impulse! Records, Coltrane’s longest and final label home before his death in 1967, approached the Coltrane family about releasing the album. Although the master recording was never found, the reference tape was uncovered.

Coltrane, a native of North Carolina, debuted his self-titled solo album on Prestige Records in 1957. Over the next decade, he would release two dozen collaborative and solo albums, before succumbing to liver cancer at age 40. Coltrane’s final recordings appeared on the album, Expression, which was released two months after his death.

The genius jazz saxophonist and composer, is noted for creating some of the most prolific works in the genre’s history, and his musical impact has never been more relevant.

Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will be released on June 29.