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Celebrating the Vanguard

The Track Listing


So Long, Eric

GRP IMPULSE sponsored a number of activities in conjunction with the September 1997 release of the Village Vanguard box set (formally entitled The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings).  There' was a separate WEB site devoted to the box set, with information about the recordings (including clips from each of the titles) and information about the week's activities at the Vanguard-unfortunately, it seems to have gone the way of all promotions, and clicking on the URL below just takes you to the Jazz Central Station WEB page. www.johncoltrane.com.  Impulse also sponsored a a weeklong celebration Live from the Village Vanguard in New York City featuring most of the artists on the current Impulse! roster.  Performers included McCoy Tyner Trio (featuring Al Foster & George Mraz), Danilo Perez Trio (w/ sit in by special guest Michael Brecker), Eric Reed 'sTrio, Antonio Hart's Quartet, Donald Harrison's Quartet, and Diana Krall (w/Russell Malone & Christian McBride).

The CD itself, with the complete recordings of the John Coltrane group live at the Village Vanguard, was released on Coltrane’s birthday (September 23), in a four-CD set. This set includes everything that was in the vaults—the original five titles released in the 1960’s together with the material released posthumously. It includes three tracks which have never been released. I had the honor of writing the liner notes for this set, parts of which were available on the special Coltrane WEB site (and may show up eventually at Impulse's regular WEB site)..  The tracks are released in chronological order.  Here's a complete list of the tracks:

The Track Listing






11/1/61 India 11:00 Dolphy, Tyner, Abdul-Malik, Garrison, Workman, Jones Previously unissued
Chasin’ the Trane 9:51 Dolphy, Workman, Jones AS9325
Impressions 8:50 Dolphy, Tyner, Garrison, Jones IZ9361
Spiritual 13:35 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Jones AS9325
Miles’ Mode 10:00 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Garrison, Jones IZ9361
Naima 7:39 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Jones IZ9361
Brasilia 18:40 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Jones AS9325
11/2/61 Chasin’ Another Trane 15:34 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Haynes IZ9361
India 13:20 Dolphy, Bushell, Tyner, Abdul-Malik, Garrison, Workman, Jones MCAD5541
Spiritual 15:00 Dolphy, Bushell, Tyner, Workman, Jones MCAD5541
Softly As In A Morning Sunrise 6:25 Tyner, Workman, Jones A-10
Chasin’ the Trane 15:55 (Dolphy), Garrison, Jones A-10
Greensleeves 6:18 Tyner, Workman, Jones AS9325
Impressions 10:55 Dolphy, Tyner, Garrison, Jones IZ9361
11/3/61 Spiritual 13:30 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Jones A-10
Naima 6:55 Dolphy, Tyner, Workman, Jones Previously Unissued
Impressions 14:40 (Dolphy), Tyner, Garrison, Jones A-42
India 13:52 Dolphy, Tyner, Garrison, Workman, Jones A-42
Greensleeves 4:50 Tyner, Workman, Jones IZ9361
Miles’ Mode 15:05 Dolphy, Tyner, Garrison, Workman, Jones Previously Unissued
11/5/61 India 15:10 Dolphy, Bushell, Tyner, Garrison, Workman, Abdul-Malik, Jones AS9325
Spiritual 20:32 Dolphy, Bushell, Tyner, Workman, Jones AS9325

Coltrane is heard on all titles.  Dolphy's name in parentheses indicates that he is heard only in ensemble passages (or joining on the last note).For more details see the Vanguard session entries in the John Coltrane Discography.

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John Coltrane's basic group at the Vanguard was a quintet comprising Coltrane, soprano and tenor saxophones; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone and bass clarinet (Dolphy does not play flute on any of these recordings but probably played flute on the gig); McCoy Tyner, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; and Elvin Jones, drums.  This quintet was augmented by Jimmy Garrison, bass; Ahmed Abdul-Malik, tamboura, and Garvin Bushell, english horn and contrabasoon.  On one track recorded on November 2, Roy Haynes sat in on drums.  The recording engineer was the legendary Rudy Van Gelder.  The equally legendary Village Vanguard is the famous basement jazz venue located on Seventh Avenue near 11th Street in New York's Greenwich Village.

All compositions by John Coltrane except Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Romberg-Hammerstein), Greensleeves (traditional English ballad), and Miles’ Mode (which is listed as written by Coltrane but was probably composed by Eric Dolphy, under the title The Red Planet). This information courtesy of Michael Cuscuna by way of David Hargis of GRP.

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So Long, Eric 

The Village Vanguard recordings represent one of the major examples of the art of Eric Dolphy. Dolphy, a native of Los Angeles, recorded with Ornette Coleman and worked extensively with Chico Hamilton and later Charles Mingus He was a member of Coltrane’s group from September 1961 through April 1962, continuing to join Coltrane on and off until his death in 1964. Dolphy was equally proficient on alto saxophone, bass clarinet and flute, in a spikey, highly individual approach which is instantly recognizable. Dolphy’s flute was usually featured on My Favorite Things; since that staple was not recorded during the Vanguard sessions, you won’t hear his flute here.

Dolphy and Coltrane were close collaborators throughout this period, and thus the exact authorship of Miles’ Mode may never be established. Most scholars attribute it (under its original title, The Red Planet) to Dolphy. Although Dolphy was featured on only two of the five tracks original released from the Vanguard (a matter of some controversy at the time), he is prominently heard on 17 of the 22 tracks recorded over the four nights (11/4 was a Saturday and was probably skipped as not a good night to record).   In the box set this composition is referred to as Miles' Mode, the title used when it was first released (in a 1962 studio version) on the LP Coltrane.   In the notes I indicate that it is also known as Red Planet.

Vvadvert.gif (3832 bytes) From the New York Post, October 26, 1961 (the first week of the engagement). 

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Dave Wild's WildPlace and its contents are protected by copyright and are published for non-commercial use only. Some of the contents of this site are 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.