Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Coltrane Exhibit in Philly

Philadelphia’s Slought Foundation, in conjunction with the African American Museum of Philadelphia, will present “Coltrane,” an exhibition and live concert series showcasing the work and influence of John Coltrane. The series will run from November 15 to January 15.

Philadelphia’s Slought Foundation is a nonprofit organization that showcases contemporary art and theory using alternative curatorial and artistic practices. Aaron Levy, the foundation’s executive director and senior curator, brought his unique visual arts approach to the exhibit.

“It’s not a historical show in the sense that the materials aren’t being hung in chronological fashion,” Levy says. “It’s more about the unusual juxtapositions of the cultural works. The idea has been to select materials that have never been available before, specifically materials that were not visually recognizable, to pique curiosity without inviting a comprehensive historical approach.”

One of these materials is featured on the exhibition’s poster: a rare photograph of Trane arriving in Japan. The exhibit also features the work of many contemporary visual artists who each share an intense fanaticism with Coltrane’s experimental work. For instance, an audio-visual piece by Israeli artist Uri Dotan takes Trane’s music and plays it backwards. (No truth to the rumor that it says “Paul is dead.”)

Also featured will be a diverse assortment of archival and historical materials courtesy of the African American Museum of Philadelphia and the John Cotton Dana Library. Most notably, there will also be a listening station, courtesy of the Impulse label, featuring Coltrane live recordings that span the latter part of his career, from 1961 until his death in 1967.

But the prized possession of the exhibit is clearly August Blume’s never-before-heard 1958 audio interview with the jazz giant. A transcript of the interview was first published in a 1959 issue of Jazz Review as “An Interview with John Coltrane,” but the recording itself has never be heard by the public. In the event that you won’t be able to make it to Philly to check out the exhibit, Slought has made the interview available on its Web site. Simply click right here) to hear the interview in its entirety in Real Audio.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Slought Foundation’s 2003-2004 jazz series commenced on Wednesday, October 15, 2003. Upcoming concerts include:

12/6/03: Louie Belogenis, Adam Lane & Carl Grubbs

12/13/03: Mark Helias’ Open Loose, with Tony Malaby and Tom Rainey

1/10/04: Stone House, with Rob Brown, Joe Morris and Luther Gray

1/15/04: Billy Bang, Joe Fonda and Barry Altschul trio

1/17/04: William Hooker’s FLOW, with Jason Hwang

Concerts start at 8 p.m. Further information on the exhibit and the concerts is available through

Originally Published