Home » Jazz News » Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy - Nev...

Recording News

Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy - Never-Before-Heard Recording Of Two Of The Most Iconic Forces In Jazz - Set To Debut July 14

Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy - Never-Before-Heard Recording Of Two Of The Most Iconic Forces In Jazz - Set To Debut July 14

Courtesy Herb Snitzer


Sign in to view read count
Features Live Recordings From Coltrane’s 1961 Residency At The Village Gate.
John Coltrane
In the summer of 1961, John Coltrane headlined at the celebrated music venue, the Village Gate. With a lineup of musicians that included McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, Elvin Jones, and the fiery playing of Eric Dolphy, Evenings at the Village Gate captures the creative and transformative spirit that sprang from the pairing of Coltrane and Dolphy, and the evolving short-lived quintet.

Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy will be released globally July 14 on Impulse! Records/UMe. The first track from the fabled performances, “Impressions,” is available now and you can listen to the track and pre-order the album here. You can also order a special edition orange vinyl variant here.

Recently discovered at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the recordings on this album—recorded by engineer Rich Alderson as part of a test of the club's new sound system—were seemingly lost, then found, and then disappeared again into the vast sound archives of the Library for the Performing Arts. The tapes’ circuitous route over several decades seemingly mirrors Coltrane's ongoing musical journey in August of 1961.

Recorded during Coltrane’s month-long Village Gate residency with his quintet (often with a revolving cast of musicians), the album consists of eighty minutes of never- before-heard music. It offers a glimpse into a powerful musical partnership that ended much too soon—Dolphy sadly passed away three years later and this recording is the only live recording of their legendary Village Gate performances. In addition to some well-known Coltrane material (“My Favorite Things,” “Impressions,” and “Greensleeves”), there is a breathtaking feature for Dolphy’s bass clarinet on “When Lights Are Low,” and the only known non-studio recording of Coltrane’s composition “Africa,” that includes bassist Art Davis.

Evenings at the Village Gate showcases the poignant, brief relationship between John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy. Coltrane first met Dolphy in Los Angeles and, when Dolphy moved to New York in 1959, they renewed their friendship. They recognized many of the same analytic and driving qualities in each other. Both came of age at the height of bebop, both were deeply interested in harmony and emotive expression and both employed vocal-like effects and a wide emotional range in their playing. The combination of their signature sounds—Dolphy's distinctively bright, sharply-stated voice set against Coltrane's darker, slurred phrasing—is a unique and evocative feature of their historic run at the Village Gate.

Accompanying the release are essays from two participants from those evenings at the Village Gate, bassist Reggie Workman and recording engineer Rich Alderson. Additionally, historian Ashley Kahn and jazz luminaries Branford Marsalis and Lakecia Benjamin offer valuable and insightful essays on the recordings.

Read Chris May's review of John Coltrane: Evenings At The Village Gate.

About Impulse!

For sixty years, Impulse Records has stood as a label of musical integrity and lasting cultural significance. Known as the “house that Trane built” in honor of its best-selling artist John Coltrane, the label has consistently released music that is exciting, fearlessly experimental and often spiritual in its resonance to listeners. Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Max Roach, Ray Charles, Alice Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, and Pharoah Sanders are but a few of the legendary musicians who helped define the label's sound and message. To this day, Impulse continues to proudly wear its distinctive orange-and-black color scheme, and is home to a new vanguard of creative musicians including Brandee Younger, Pino Palladino and Shabaka Hutchings’s pioneering groups Sons of Kemet, Shabaka & the Ancestors, and The Comet Is Coming.

Visit Website | Purchase

Post a comment


Jazz News


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.