The recordings dating from 1961 feature the legendary saxophone player and his collaborators – fellow saxophonist Eric Dolphy, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Elvin Jones.
The never-heard-before material was discovered at the New York Public Library. It had been lost in the library’s archives for several decades.
As the Guardian reports, the audio taken during Coltrane’s residency at New York’s Village Gate, “was recorded as part of a test of the club’s new sound system”. Compiled as Evenings at the Village Gate, the material will be reissued on 14 Jule via Impulse Records, the label that has taken care of Coltrane’s releases since the 1960s. The collection of recordings is believed to be the only recording of the group’s outstanding Village Gate concerts. Apart from well-known numbers such as My Favorite Things, Impressions and Greensleeves, as well as When Lights Are Low, the compilation has Africa, from the 1961’s Africa/Brass album. With added improvisations, the live version is extended to 23 minutes while the version on the record clocks in at 16.28.
The recordings capture Coltrane in the moment of change who was pursuing a more adventurous style of playing and improvisatory approach in 1961.