Coltrane “Live” at the Village Vanguard (1961)

Track Selection:  “Chasin’ the Trane” (Excerpt)


Eric Dolphy (bc) John Coltrane (ss) McCoy tyner (p) Elvin Jones (d) Reggie Workman (b)


As a late starter (remedial class)  in jazz there are more than a few gaps in my musical knowledge, and Coltrane has been one of those gaps. Statements like that bring gasps of disbelief from hardcore jazz fans, but it’s true, which is the only place to be.  Earlier encounters with Coltrane’s later Sixties “spiritual” mode left me struggling, however his earlier work I found encouragingly accessible. I few Prestiges under my belt, I feel ready to move  forward.

The audience is politely appreciative of this intense performance, (thankfully short of idiot yehaws!) To join in, dim the lights, don a black beret and dark glasses, and stroke that goatee, ocassionally breathing “Yeah”.


The first UK release on red HMV labels in mono and weighty vinyl, it is tonally rich and captures well the atmosphere of a live club recording.

Collectors Corner

The Village Vanguard Live original 1962 press is sought after, as the nine bids on ebay confirmed, pushing the final price to £27. UK pressings are sonically easily the equivalent to US originals, though without the collector cachet, so less than a quarter of the price.

2 thoughts on “Coltrane “Live” at the Village Vanguard (1961)

  1. Some of Coltrane’s best works were recorded at the Village Vanguard – Spiritual (on this album), India, Brasilia, 2 versions of Naima (now all on The complete Village Vanguard 1961 Recordings) etc.


  2. I thought I knew quite a bit about Coltrane but I recently ‘discovered’ his ‘Live At The Half Note’ double album which is sensational.


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