Staff Picks: John Coltrane - Blue World

For fans of: Unheard sounds from a jazz master.

What they're saying: You can find an in-depth profile of Blue World this week at the New York Times: "These performances are, in fact, deeply entrenched in Coltrane’s moment: He’s issuing a warm valediction to his old catalog, full of his characteristic seriousness and serenity, before charging even further ahead.”

What we say: Following on 2018's unearthed diamond, "Both Directions at Once", another previously unheard John Coltrane album is to be revealed thanks to the folks at Impulse!. "Blue World" showcases a set of new tracks alongside older works from such luminary albums as Giant Steps and the alternate takes anthology, "Like Sonny", that Coltrane recorded with his classic quartet in the early 1960s. NPR's "A Lost Album from John Coltrane, with Thanks to a French-Canadian Director", details it's complex path of production, and the following decades of obscurity. At the time Coltrane had been approached by the filmmaker Gilles Grouilx to soundtrack his 1964 film , "Le Chat Dans Le Sac". He and Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner assembled at Van Gelder studios in New Jersey producing a body of new music to fit the feature length film. Grioux took the master tapes to Canada, choosing instead to largely excise the new material in favor of alternate takes of classic tracks like "Naima". The sessions' original master tapes eventually found their way to the National Film Board of Canada, where they were discovered in the process of the archiving of Grouilx's filmography. The National Film Board reached out to Impulse!, who negotiated the rights transference and the began the mastering process only last year. On September 27th, more than 55 years after the original sessions and the release of the film, we'll finally be able to hear another lost entry from Coltrane's most essential and historic period. - JP

Further Listening: Immerse yourself in the era and revisit Crescent.