More than 50 years after Miles Davis and John Coltrane embarked on one last tour of Europe together, fans can finally own this crucial piece of history on The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6, available everywhere today. This 4CD set features, for the first time in an authorized release, five breathtaking performances recorded in Paris, Stockholm and Copenhagen on the Jazz At The Philharmonic European Tour of spring 1960.
Features the latest remastering. Includes a Japanese description, lyrics, and bonus tracks. Features original cover artwork. The complete recordings done by John Coltrane for Bethlehem Records – mostly cut during December of 1957, and issued on the albums The Winner's Circle and Art Blakey Big Band! Both albums were a bit unusual for the label – in that The Winner's Circle was sort of a blowing/jam session type record, cut with some of the big poll winners of the year, but with shorter tracks than the usual Prestige-styled set of that nature. The lineup includes Donald Byrd, Al Cohn, Eddie Costa, Oscar Pettiford, and Philly Joe Jones – and Coltrane's a bit buried in the group, but gets out some nice licks from time to time.
This single-disc Concert in Japan by John Coltrane's 1966 quintet is a reissue of the original double LP that was released as IMR 9036C in 1973. Its three selections include two long instrumental pieces and a spoken introduction of the musicians in Japanese. These performances are compiled from two Tokyo dates. This set is not to be confused with the four-disc document that includes both Tokyo concerts in their entirety. The band here performs a 25-minute "Peace on Earth," a ballad that Coltrane wrote especially for the tour, to express his empathy and sympathy for the nuclear destruction Japan experienced during WWII. The tune moves outside, but stays well within the realm of spiritual boundary-pushing that the band was easily capable of.
Recorded on August 26, 1965 (and not released until after his death in heavily edited form), Sun Ship was the final recording by John Coltrane's quartet with drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. After nearly four years together, this band had achieved a vital collective identity. When Coltrane moved toward metrically free styles of rhythm and melody (with tunes often based on one chord or a short series of notes as themes), the quartet's rhythmic pulse and collective interplay evolved accordingly. The title track opens with a splintered theme. Garrison and Jones group dramatically around the leader's call, then rhythmically abstract the pulse; they imply a central rhythm more than state one.
There's no sense of "transition" here – as the album's an incredibly solid one, and stands with John Coltrane's best mid 60s work for Impulse – even if the session wasn't issued by the label until after his early death! The work builds strongly on the Love Supreme vibe – soaring, searching, and finding whole new space in jazz – but all with a unified conception that's driven by an unbridled sense of energy. The group here is the quartet with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – and we're still quite puzzled why Impulse never managed to get this one released until a few years later! Titles include "Transition", "Dear Lord", and the side-long "Prayer and Meditation" suite.