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Evenings At The Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy

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In Financial Times, Mike Hobart gave this work 4 out of 5 stars, stating: "the set stands up well against Coltrane’s other live recordings of the time".

Scores of Coltrane heads weaned themselves on the impressive fidelity of “Live” at the Village Vanguard and 1964’s Live at Birdland, both of which were captured with extreme stereo know-how by Rudy Van Gelder. It’s Tyner’s arrangement, and the Coltrane/Dolphy mutual admiration society push each other to compelling effect. Coltrane’s road to the avant-garde was built from his ability to compose, arrange, and imagine new roles for diverse instruments on his bandstands. Tyner’s piano is muffled enough on “My Favorite Things” that his parts can sound like ghostly percussion unless you focus on them.The simple-triple time groove which Jones works through gives the piece a swaying, hypnotic feel that is as good as any version Coltrane recorded, while Coltrane himself, working with a number then fresh to his repertoire has animation that later versions that often surrendered to ritualistic recapitulation. Evenings at the Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy, a new archival release, captures the 34-year-old artist as he comes to grips with his music’s remarkable possibilities. The contributions by Coltrane and multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy are clear, as is Elvin Jones‘ drumming, but McCoy Tyner‘s piano and Reggie Workman and Art Davis‘ basses can be indistinct, especially when other instruments are soloing.

Workman says in the liner notes that Coltrane put his full trust in Dolphy, entrusted him with the solo, and listened intently to Dolphy's various ideas and tones from the side of the stage. Editors at Stereogum run a monthly article on the state of jazz and the July 2023 edition included a retrospective on Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah and the intersection of African music with jazz forms. This special new double album features over an hour and a half of music that has never before been heard, including well-known Coltrane classics such as 'My Favorite Things' and 'Greensleeves' as well as the only known non-studio recording of Coltrane's 'Africa' from his Africa/Bass album. A sound technician installed his reel to reel tape deck and recorded the Coltrane Quintet with a single microphone hanging from the ceiling. The recordings were made over two nights during a summer season in 1961 by the club’s sound engineer, Rich Alderson, with a single microphone suspended over the stage.This basement remained a venue, Le Poussin Rouge, after the Gate closed 30 years ago; the ground floor, naturally, has become a CVS.

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