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General: This page contains notes to items on the page of recordings from 1963. Some additional notes may be found on the Coltrane FAQs page.

Significant Events:

Johnny Hartman Session In March of 1963 Coltrane recorded an album standards (similar to the 1962 Ballads session) featuring vocalist Johnny Hartman. 
Haynes Replaces Jones Elvin Jones briefly left the quartet in the spring of 1963 for personal reasons.  For most of the six month absence his replacement was veteran drummer Roy Haynes, who can be heard on two tracks from an April studio session and three from the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival.
Birdland Session Elvin Jones returned in the fall, and in October Coltrane recorded live at Birdland in New York City. 
European tour The Coltrane Quartet toured Europe in the fall of 1963.  Many of the performances were recorded, and a number have been released on bootleg issues.

630307.  Two versions exist of three of the titles from this session.  The following is quoted from Michael Cuscuna's additional notes to the CD release (Impulse GRD-157):

All of John Coltrane's Impulse sessions at Rudy Van Gelder's studio were done directly to two-track stereo tape. After completing this collaboration with Johnny Hartman, a master tape was assembled from the original session tapes.

At a later date, Coltrane decided to overdub some additional obbligato saxophone phrases behind Hartman's vocals on My One and Only Love, Lush Life and You Are Too Beautiful. A new master was made by Rudy Van Gelder, who added some additional echo to the three tracks. Although the first release of the album used the original master without Coltrane's additional obbligatos, it was later substituted with the new master. This gave rise to the rumor that alternate takes of My One and Only Love, Lush Life and You Are Too Beautiful existed and were issued on some pressings. No alternate takes exist or have been issued.

631008.  Three additional tracks from this session were found recently in the Coltrane family archives The material includes one previously unlisted title, (Lonnie's Lament), plus the two tracks originally listed as lost. It's likely this material will be issued in 1998, although our source indicates that Rockin', which is actually Tranein' In, was used to set sound levels and is probably unusable. The recording sequence has been rearranged based on this information.

A number of problems have been noted with the CD reissue of this session. During the preparation of the CD, someone for some unknown reason created an edited master of Afro-Blue, clocking in at 8:05 and truncating McCoy Tyner's solo. A few thousand CDs were manufactured before someone realized that an engineer had unknowingly used this master tape for Live at Birdland. The mistake was discovered days before the street date, at which time the album was recalled and remanufactured. Although most copies were recovered and destroyed, a few were released, especially overseas (as release dates are usually earlier there to prevent bootlegging). But the fiasco does not seem to have ended there. There are now releases out there with the timing on the liner "corrected" to show 8:05, rather than the correct 10:40. In some cases the CD has the full Afro-Blue, but in others the incomplete master has been used. Caveat emptor.

For a discussion of the variant versions of Alabama, click here.


631102.  As indicated in Issue #2 of disc'ribe, there were four releases of music from Coltrane's European tours on Norman Granz's Pablo-Live label, drawn from the approximately 40 hours of concert tapes Granz reportedly had from those tours.  None of the releases reliably dated the performances, and Granz never provided information to me (or evidently to Fujioka).  The four were Afro-blue Impressions PL2620-101, The Paris Concert, PL 2308-217, The European Tour PL2308-222, and Bye Bye Blackbird PL 2308-227.   The first three drew from the '63 tour and the fourth from the '62 tour (I was able to match some of the tracks against existing private tapes at the time).  Afro-blue Impressions cited a 10/26/63 Berlin performance as its source, but Fuji was able to determine that the Berlin concert actually took place on 11/2/63, so that is shown here as the source for those titles (and as a possible source for the titles released on The Paris Concert). 


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Contents of this page based on The Recordings of John Coltrane: A Discography, (c) 1977, 1978, 1979 by David Wild and disc’ribe, Issues # 1, # 2, and # 3, (c) 1980, 1981 and 1983 by Angelyn and David Wild. All the usual legal protections apply. Click here to send mail to Dave Wild.