| It’s hard to imagine that John Coltrane’s recording career lasted only 12 years. His was an unending intellectual and spiritual quest through music. No one with such an extraordinary degree of talent worked as hard to master his instrument and to seek the deepest form of human expression through it.
In that 12 years, Coltrane was always instantly identifiable, yet always changing and evolving. The three performances on this DVD show in dramatic relief the most important phases of his career.
These newly discovered 1960 performances with Miles Davis’s rhythm section find him near the end of his “sheets-of-sound” period, which gave us such masterpieces as “Mr. P.C.” and “Giant Steps.” Coltrane was anxious to form his own group and this final tour with Davis was a favor to the trumpeter. His restlessness shows through in his playing here and elsewhere at the time. It is fascinating to hear him with one of his early idols Stan Getz and his playing seems to challenge Getz to a new level.
The 1965 Comblain-La-Tour performance, providing some great visuals, allows us to see the group at the peak of its powers and near the end of its run. By the end of the year, McCoy and Elvin were gone and one of the most innovative and exciting ensembles in jazz was no more.
Liner notes by Ashley Kahn
Foreword by Michael Cuscuna
Cover photo by Chuck Stewart
Booklet photos by Roger Kasparian, William "PoPsie" Randolph, Lee Tanner, Hans E. Hael, Ed Van Der Elsken, K. Abe
Total time: 90 minutes