Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The "complete" John Coltrane on Spotify

Today it's the 45th anniversary of John Coltrane's passing. To commemorate this extraordinary musician, over the last few weeks I've been compiling a playlist of his recordings, both as leader and sideman, in chronological order, as available on Spotify. It comprises more than 800 tracks, or four days of straight listening.

Just some random sampling will show why Coltrane was extraordinary: from his Bird-emulating beginnings to his flights into the unknown in his last years, the standard of his music and his passion are always at the top or very close to it. Just consider the breadth and pace of the changes his music went through from, say, Miles's last session for Prestige to Ascension, and think that it happened in only ten years!

A list like this is far from perfect, since it is subject to availability and to the non-systematic approach to data on Spotify, but it's not that far this time, I think. If I'm not mistaken, no studio recording he made between 1955 and 1965 is missing (his previous years are well represented, starting with his 1946 recordings while in the Navy), which includes all his studio work as a leader during those years, as well as all his recordings as a sideman with Miles and Monk. The studio work happens to thin out a bit from 1966 onwards. What's surprising is the amount of live recordings. With or without Miles, Coltrane has been heavily recorded, and a lot of it has come up on Spotify, both from official and bootleg sources. Everything has been included for the sake of completeness. Furthermore, I have also included a few interviews, with August Blume (1957), Carl Lindgren (1960), Michel de Ruyter (1962 and 1965), and Frank Kofsky (1966).

My main reference has been the discography included in The John Coltrane Reference, the penultimate word on Trane. This huge and heavy tome is divided in a chronology and a discography, and the work done by David Wild, Chris DeVito, Yasuhiro Fujioka, Wolf Schmaler, and Lewis Porter is simply mind-boggling. I have also checked David Wild's addenda and corrections as published in his website, as well as Peter Losin's discography of Miles Davis. Any mistakes are mine, and if you spot any, I'll be grateful if you report them by posting a comment below. However, note that there are a few disparities between the sequence and whatever information is displayed on Spotify, which are due to the information on Spotify being actually wrong.

Of course, this blog, as well as David Wild's and Peter Losin's sites - and Spotify where available - are readily accessible on the internet. That means that you're totally free to do as you please with all this work, but if you use any of it, as a matter of courtesy and clarity regarding provenance, please do mention your sources.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy


Fernando Ortiz de Urbina said...

2012.09.29 update:

Thanks to Caye López from Spain, we know have five more tracks in the playlist, which are not available in the UK.

These are

- Expression 10:52
- To Be 16:22

- Om 28:56

- Manifestation 11:36
- Reverend King 11:03

Fernando Ortiz de Urbina said...

2013.01.20 UPDATE:

Tracks from the following dates have been added:

- With Miles Davis, Birdland 1959/08/25 (3 tracks for AFRS, the infamous night when a policeman attacked Miles)

- Jazz Gallery 1960/06/27 (7 tracks)

- Sutherland Lounge 1961/03/01 (14 tracks, 3 CDs worth of music)

And a more complete version of the following

- Unissued German Concerts - 6 tracks recorded in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Berlin in 1961/11-12

Fernando Ortiz de Urbina said...

2013.04.17 - UPDATE:

I've added the Complete Sun Ship Session, although it's still not available in the UK.