Lost John Coltrane album to be released by Impulse! Records

Lost John Coltrane album to be released by Impulse! Records
Photo: © Chuck Stewart Photography, LLC

Sorry guys, no room for jokes here, this is the serious stuff.

On Wednesday, March 6, 1963, in the middle of what was already smelling to be a maelstrom year for jazz records, John Coltrane walked through the doors of Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ. Over the course of the next 24 hours he, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones recorded an entire album’s worth of material. Coltrane took the cassette tape of those recordings back home and played them for his then-wife Juanita Austin (or Naima). And then…Well, that was it. No one else ever heard those tapes — not for 55 years.

But now, the world will get a chance to listen to what happened in that small New Jersey studio. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album by John Coltrane will be fully released on June 29 via Impulse! Records — the hyper-genius creative space for those such as Pharoah Sanders, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, and Charlie Haden. In the past, the label has served as the launchpad for many of coltrane’s most respected works; and now, after over a decade of dormancy, Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album will begin a new era of releases from the iconic label.

In the words of master saxophonist Sonny (Fucking) Rollins: “This is like finding a new room in the Great Pyramid.” In the words of me: “This is like finding one of Sonny Rollins’s sax reeds he lost under his bed once.”

So what’s on this top-secret record of legends, you ask? Well hold onto your earlobes honey because I’m about to tell you what’s what. The record features two completely-new never-before-heard originals for the soprano sax: “Untitled Original 11383” and “Untitled Original 11386.” The former of which you can listen to right now!!! It also features the first-ever studio recording of the famous bootleg “One Up, One Down,” as well as a unique, groundbreaking rendition of a piano-less “Impressions,” one of Coltrane’s most famous compositions.

Additionally, the record will feature Coltrane’s first recordings of “Nature Boy” and several renditions of Franz Lehár’s “Vilia.” The record consists of seven discreet compositions, with 14 recordings overall included on the deluxe edition. Oh yeah, that’s right. If you’re looking to buy this bad boy, the CD and LP standard edition includes one version of each track, hand-picked by Ravi Coltrane. The deluxe edition includes all 14 recordings, with extra takes included on a bonus disc. And don’t worry, streaming service nerds, the deluxe edition will be available on all streaming platforms as well.

So, now you know. Once you stream that new single/add this prerelease to your library OR WHATEVER, you might as well head over to Wikipedia to refresh your cool, hip jazz knowledge so that you can finally appreciate what’s being called “the Holy Grail of jazz music.”

Pictured here: Impulse! Records label rep retrieves this long-lost record

Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album standard edition tracklisting:

01. Untitled Original 11383
02. Nature Boy
03. Untitled Original 11386
04. Vilia
05. Impressions
06. Slow Blues
07. One Up, One Down

Deluxe edition tracklisting:

01. Untitled Original 11383 (Take 1)
02. Nature Boy
03. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 1)
04. Vilia (Take 3)
05. Impressions (Take 3)
06. Slow Blues
07. One Up, One Down (Take 1)

01. Vilia (Take 5)
02. Impressions (Take 1)
03. Impressions (Take 2)
04. Impressions (Take 4)
05. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 2)
06. Untitled Original 11386 (Take 5)
07. One Up, One Down (Take 6)

Most Read