Blue World, a never-before-heard recording by John Coltrane, will be released September 27 in CD, vinyl LP, and digital editions via Impulse!/UMe.
Recorded in June 1964, the album features Coltrane with his classic quartet of pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones, who went into Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., for this particular session with a virtually unprecedented brief: to record new versions of some of Coltrane’s most famous works, including “Naima,” “Village Blues,” and “Traneing In.”
The genesis of the album came earlier in 1964, when Coltrane was approached by a Quebecois filmmaker, Gilles Groulx. Groulx was planning his film Le chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag), a love story set in Montreal with political undertones. A Coltrane fan, Groulx was fixated on having him record a soundtrack for the film. He approached Coltrane via a personal connection with Garrison, and Coltrane agreed.
Recorded on 1/4″ analog mono tape, the session was mixed by Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studios on June 24, 1964. Groulx took the master to Canada to use in his film, but in the end he only included 10 minutes of the 37-minute recording. The rest has remained unheard till now.
Blue World has been mastered from its original analog tape by Kevin Reeves at Universal Music Mastering in New York. The new vinyl edition’s lacquers were cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios.
Blue World follows last year’s release of Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album, a studio album recorded in 1963 that revealed new compositions from Coltrane and the Classic Quartet at their peak. Both Directions landed Coltrane at #21 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, his highest debut ever.