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John Coltrane: One Down, One Up: Live at the Half Note

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Try to imagine an over-the-air commercial radio station broadcasting a Cecil Taylor concert. You can’t? Neither can I. But that sort of thing used to happen. Here’s proof: two sets by John Coltrane’s classic quartet at New York’s Half Note, broadcast live on WABC-FM in March and May of 1965.

The two-CD set captures Coltrane’s music on the cusp of major change, just weeks before embarking on the last phase of his career-during which he expunged from his music every last speck of convention. Pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones would soon depart, to be replaced by Alice Coltrane, Rashied Ali and a cast of thousands. This album documents the classic quartet near the end of its incredible run.

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