Tuesday, March 9, 2010

John Coltrane - The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions (1961) (320)

"'Trane was the Father...Pharoah was the son...I am the Holy Ghost."

Thus spoke Albert Ayler. The more I think about this quote the truer it rings, which is why I'm making it the theme for my next few posts. This is Trane's first Impulse! album, and the first that I've posted featuring his soprano sax playing. Trane and pianist McCoy Tyner did the arrangements, turning the traditional English song "Greensleeves" into a showcase for soprano sax virtuosity and punchy horn lines. Eric Dolphy is featured here, another player who I believe influenced Trane's musical directions as Ayler did. Pat Patrick's here as well, best known for his tenure with Sun Ra. I've omitted the names of the French Horn players from the tags due to character limit. I need to get around to posting more of my Coltrane collection, but look for some Pharoah Sanders and Albert Ayler in coming days.


1. Greensleeves
2. Song Of The Underground Railroad
3. Greensleeves (Alternate Take)
4. The Damned Don't Cry
5. Africa (First Version)
6. Blues Minor
7. Africa (Alternate Take)
8. Africa

Booker Little, trumpet
Britt Woodman, trombone
Carl Bowman, euphonium
Julius Watkins, Donald Corrado, Bob Northern, Robert Swisshelm, French horns
Bill Barber, tuba
Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Pat Patrick, baritone saxophone
John Coltrane, tenor saxophone
McCoy Tyner, piano
Reggie Workman, bass
Art Davis, bass on Africa only
Elvin Jones, drums

Original sessions produced by Creed Taylor
Reissue produced by Michael Cuscuna
Recording Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ on June 4, 1961.

Photography: Ted Russell, Don Parent, Chuck Stewart
Art Direction: Hollis King
Graphic design: Jackie Thaw


Download Disc 1 (Tracks 1-5)
Download Disc 2 (Tracks 6-8)


  1. This is a classic by the soul and spirit of jazz, John Coltrane. He could make standards into something extraordinary. Practicing 14 hours a day paid off. Great blog, thanks for putting it out there.

  2. I have this on vinyl. Great album, not as "hard" as a lot of Trane's music, but still great.