Newly Found 1963 John Coltrane Album to Be Released, Listen to a Never-Before-Heard Track

John Coltrane
Adam Ritchie/Redferns

John Coltrane performs on stage at the Half Note club in New York in 1965. 

Fifty-one years after his death, John Coltrane is still full of surprises. Impulse! has announced the release of Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, out June 29. It’s composed of a lost 1963 session recorded at Van Gelder Studios with his legendary Classic Quartet of pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones.

Directions was the product of a single day’s work on March 6, 1963, when jazz’s most legendary, incendiary group of all time was full bore. Then -- nothing, really. While it’s unconscionable to imagine that music of this quality would simply be shelved and forgotten by all involved, that’s exactly what happened, and it speaks more to Coltrane’s merciless work ethic than the quality of the music that it’d fall behind the burner.

But today, against all odds, we have Directions, and a track that Coltrane didn’t even give a title, “Untitled Original 11383.” But what a sweet spot the music hits. It simultaneously suggesting the avant-garde direction he’d take later with A Love Supreme, but he’s so clearly in the Eastern frame of sax-thinking that we all heard on My Favorite Things from 1961. Garrison, who solos with a bow, less plays notes than cyclonic, rapidly accelerating dust-devils of sound.

Both directions, indeed; it simply does not get better than this quartet, during that year, endlessly in transition, completely fearless.

Hear “Untitled Original 11383” below.