John Coltrane: Chasin' the Trane (master take)


Chasin' the Trane (master take)


John Coltrane (tenor sax)


Live at the Village Vanguard (Impulse AS-10)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax), Eric Dolphy (alto sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Composed by John Coltrane


Recorded: Village Vanguard, New York, November 2, 1961


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

All the different versions of “Chasin’ the Trane” through the years from Coltrane’s live recordings hit that same incredible level of creativity on the blues. It was a whole side of the Impulse record, Live at the Village Vanguard, and Coltrane plays from start to finish—Eric Dolphy comes in at the very end. Later, they released other takes where Dolphy plays and McCoy plays. The first time I heard this, I listened to it all day. I kept putting the needle back at the beginning of the recording. After a while, I realized it was a blues. I was a teenager, and the energy, the focus, and the swinging, beautiful exploration of Coltrane’s choruses was really some magic. Moving to New York, playing at the Village Vanguard with the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, presenting my own groups there, recording live there, feeling the spirits in that room—it goes back to that first time, checking THAT piece out.

        John Coltrane, artwork by Michael Symonds

Trane was moving on in his playing and his approach, becoming a leader, having his own band, focusing totally on what he wanted to play. That in turn created a lot of ideas. He was always dealing with how he played, as well as what he was playing, and his approach widened through the years. We all study the elements in the music, and deal with things today that we dealt with on Day One. If you don’t do that, then I don’t think you can really play with the depth of your soul. If it only becomes a technical thing to get around your horn and execute what you’ve practiced, you’re not executing your feelings. Coltrane went through periods earlier-on where he was documented as a very technical player. But every step of the way, you hear the evolution of how his feelings came out in his music, through hundreds and hundreds of songs. That was a beautiful study for me. The soulfulness of his playing, of his journey, came out in his playing at every moment.

Reviewer: Joe Lovano

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