At the beginning of October, 2001, Fantasy Records released a seven-CD compilation of music by John Coltrane entitled John Coltrane: Live Trane on the Pablo label (7PACD-4433-2). The music is an essential part of the legacy of John Coltrane, representing (for the most part) live performances in Europe by the quintet (with Eric Dolphy) and the Classic Quartet.
However, the documentation for this major compilation contains some significant inaccuracies--despite the inclusion of such heavyweights as discographer Yasuhiro Fujioka and biographer Lewis Porter in the credits (Fuji is quick to point out that he was never given the opportunity to audition the music). The folks at Fantasy have yet to admit that they just might have made a mistake or two in their project. We of course believe in the value of accuracy in documenting this music, and as a small step towards keeping the record straight we've put together a few pages containing the corrected information, some specifics from Coltrane researcher David Tegnell, a response from Fantasy, and our response to Fantasy. Links to these pages are listed below.
We need to re-emphasize that the issue here is jazz scholarship. The music itself is unaffected; it's prime Coltrane, music that should be heard. The number of potential box set buyers (Fantasy's "bottom line") whose purchasing decisions will be affected by this information is miniscule--most won't have all of the previous Pablo European tour releases, let alone have heard any of the broadcast tapes or bootlegs of the other material in this set. For many, then, the box set may prove to be a valuable purchase. But we believe passionately that this music deserves the same respect that any other artform is afforded, and that extends to careful and accurate documentation. Buy this set for the music it contains, but be aware that some of the information is faulty.
|--The Real Tracklist.
Full and accurate details on the contents of the box set.
--Open Letter To Fantasy. David Tegnell's open letter to Fantasy regarding the errors in dates and sources of the box set recordings.
--Fantasy Responds. Fantasy Publicist Terri Hinte responds to David's letter.
-And We Repond To Fantasy. We address some items in Terri's letter to David.
--A Few Words from Fuji Yasuhiro Fujioka offers a few words.
--Coltrane in Europe. Some background on Coltrane's appearances in Europe.
--Back to the News Page. Click here to return to the Coltrane News page.
Photo by JAN PERSSON.
In acknowledging the greatness of this music (regardless of the discographical issues), it's important to recognize the role played by promoter Norman Granz. Granz, who died recently (November 22, 2001), made it possible for Coltrane to perform in Europe, and is the source of most of these recordings. Granz founded the Pablo label, which Fantasy acquired in 1987. It's fitting that this monumental set is the last music associated with his name to be released before his death.
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