Never-before-seen recording by John Coltrane discovered at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Credit: Herb Snitzer

“Evenings at the Village Gate”, unearthed at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and depicting the brief musical partnership between John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, is now available to order from Impulse! Records.

Jazz icon John Coltrane’s “Evenings at the Village Gate,” a headlining performance at the famous venue in the summer of 1961, was recently spotted at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and will be released worldwide on Impulse on July 14! Records.

John Coltrane headlined Village Gate in the summer of 1961 with a cast of musicians including McCoy Tyner, Reggie Workman, Elvin Jones and Eric Dolphy. Evenings at the Village Gate captures the creative and transformative spirit that emerged from the pairing of Coltrane and Dolphy and the ever-evolving but short-lived quintet.

The recordings on the album – recorded by sound engineer Rich Alderson as part of a test of the club’s new sound system – were seemingly lost, then found and then lost again in the Library for the Performing Arts’ vast sound archives. The tapes’ circuitous path over several decades reflects Coltrane’s musical journey in August 1961.

Recorded during Coltrane’s month-long Village Gate residency with his quintet (often with a rotating line-up of musicians), the album contains eighty minutes of never-before-heard recordings. It offers a glimpse into a powerful musical partnership that ended far too soon – Dolphy sadly passed away three years later. This recording is the only version of their Village Gate performances ever recorded.

In addition to some known Coltrane material, there is an incredible feature for Dolphy’s bass clarinet on “When Lights Are Low” and the only known non-studio recording of Coltrane’s composition “Africa” ​​involving bassist Art Davis.

The first track from the legendary performances, ‘Impressions’ is available now ahead of the full album release. A special edition orange vinyl is also available for pre-order.

Evenings at the Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy Tracklist:

  1. my favorite things
  2. When the light is low
  3. impressions
  4. Green sleeves
  5. Africa