Blue World, a previously unissued cache of studio recordings by the classic John Coltrane Quartet is released
Yet another entry in the growing catalogue of lost-and-found recording sessions, this dates from 1964 and was made for a French-Canadian film, Le chat dans le sac. Some of it was used on the soundtrack, but this is the whole thing and it’s fascinating. Coltrane and his classic quartet were then in the midst of their most creatively demanding year and everything they recorded was new. The film director, though, had asked for numbers he was familiar with and Coltrane was happy to oblige. (The Guardian)
The result is a brief but serious retrospective treatment of five pieces, going back as far as 1958. There are two versions of Naima and three of Village Blues, but they’re all different, and every performance is complete, no odds and ends. The piece called Blue World here is an improvisation on the song Out of This World, which Coltrane had recorded in 1962, and for sheer intensity this version comes close to surpassing even that. As for the sound quality, it was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio, by the man himself, in mono, which has been delicately tweaked and runs for 37 minutes.
For the last 55 years, a clue to its existence could clearly be heard in the soundtrack to a well-regarded French-Canadian film, which interpolated portions of three separate tracks. But only in recent years have jazz scholars connected the dots, leading to what we have here: a 37-minute album (of sorts) by one of the most compelling bands in jazz history, at an unmistakable apex of cohesion.(Pitchfork.com)
Le chat dans le sac, an early touchstone for Québec cinema, uses only 10 minutes of Coltrane’s music—but in prominent places, with an obvious touch of pride. Barbara Ulrich, one of the film’s two stars (and Groulx’s romantic partner for a time), recalls in the Blue World liner notes that he had specific song requests for Coltrane. Drawn from albums in his personal collection, they represented objects in the saxophonist’s rearview. Coltrane wasn’t in the habit of revisiting previously recorded songs in the studio, but in this case, he and the band obliged.