Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (LP)


John Coltrane

Vinyl
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$29.98
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Amoeba Review

As more and more miles of dusty tapes are exhumed from the vaults of long-deceased musical icons, claims of “lost albums” abound. Likewise, so do questions as to whether that material necessarily denotes that merit. Both Directions At Once is an unearthed recording session from the ’63 John Coltrane Quartet. That’s the classic quartet for ya: McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. Love Supreme and Crescent-era Coltrane. The telepathic frequency those four operated on in their brief 3-year existence is unparalleled, and their transcendent playing advanced the tonal and melodic possibilities of jazz. Both Directions features, among others, a couple of untitled originals, an extended 12-bar blues-based vamp, and an early reworking of “Nature Boy.” As a lost album, one would place it as a natural bridge between 1962’s Coltrane and the aforementioned Crescent. Was the session that birthed Both Directions ultimately meant as its own complete artistic statement, or a coincidental treasure trove of extra material from the group that would go on to record jazz’s apex? The question is irrelevant; the proof is in the playing. These songs are statement enough.



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