John Coltrane Takes It to the Temple: unreleased recordings set for major launch


A previously unreleased John Coltrane live concert from 1966 is to be released by Resonance Records in association with Impulse! on 23 September, the saxophonist’s birthday. Offering: Live At Temple University,1966 will be available as both a deluxe double CD and a deluxe double 180-gram vinyl LP set (sleeve pictured left) and is the first time this previously unissued Coltrane concert has been given an officially sanctioned release, though it has appeared in incomplete form on poor audio quality bootlegs.

Recorded in Philadelphia on 11 November 1966, nine months before he died of liver cancer, the band includes Alice Coltrane on piano, Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax and piccolo, Rashied Ali on drums and Sonny Johnson substituting for Jimmy Garrison on bass alongside Coltrane on tenor and soprano sax, flute and vocals. Two guest saxophonists and four percussionists also appear on the recording, which has been remastered in 24-bit from the master tape reels originally recorded by Temple University’s WRTI-FM radio. Coltrane fans are in for a big treat with over 90 minutes of music captured at a pivotal time, including ‘Naima’, ‘Crescent’, ‘Leo’, ‘Offering’ and ‘My Favourite Things’.

JohnColtrane1965ImpulseRavi Coltrane, John and Alice’s son, and the Coltrane Estate have been involved in this historical release and it is co-produced by jazz writer Ashley Khan, who contributes liner notes to the set’s accompanying 24-page booklet. Khan talks of the recording as, “a 90 minute session of sustained intensity; experimental, frenzied and at times, deeply spiritual. Coltrane was pointing the way forward for generations of players to come.”  The double set will incorporate the characteristic identity of Impulse! record’s design, Coltrane’s label from 1961 until his death in 1967, and a contribution from each sale will go towards the John Coltrane Home Foundation, set up to preserve the saxophonist’s former home in Dix Hills, New York.

– Jon Newey

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