Sep 2, 2013
For thirty years, Mosaic Records has been reissuing, rereleasing and discovering jazz treasures. Even before that, co-founder (with Charlie Lourie) Michael Cuscuna had become a legend as a producer of jazz recordings for Atlantic and Blue Note, working on many of the legendary sessions that made those labels famous.
The latest Mosaic release of note is The Complete Sun Ship Session, which includes newly discovered and previously unissued alternate takes from one came at the culmination of a year in which Coltrane arguably reached his creative peak, a year rich in masterworks. The Sun Ship album, though, was not issued until 1971, one of several Coltrane albums issued by Impulse Records after his death.
I spoke with Michael about these sessions, the historic importance of the release of complete sessions and what Mosaic looks for in their many projects. Podcast 374 is our conversation, featuring musical selections that include:
John Coltrane Quartet – “Nature Boy” from The John Coltrane Quartet Plays. 1965 was the final year for the original Coltrane Quartet, and this standard, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on February 18, 1965 showed the band adding players as Trane pursued a new sound. The quartet is John Coltrane (tenor saxophone) McCoy Tyner (piano) Art Davis and Jimmy Garrison (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums).
John Coltrane Quartet – “Ascent (Take 7, Complete Insert 4)”; “Dearly Beloved (Takes 1 & 2, False Start and Alternate Version)” and “Studio Conversation” from The Complete Sun Ship Session. One of the great joys of listening to these final recordings of the Coltrane Quartet is that Cuscuna has put together the August 26, 1965 in their entirety, including studio banter and false starts. The result is a rare glimpse into the creative process of four great jazz musicians.
Thelonious Monk – “Four In One (Alternate Take)” from The Complete Blue Note Recordings Of Thelonious Monk. The first Mosaic collection were the first sessions Monk made as a bandleader between 1947 and 1952, and released on Blue Note records as a series of 78 RPM singles. The band is Monk on piano, Art Blakey on drums, Sahib Shihab on alto sax, Milt Jackson on vibes and Al McKibbon on bass.
You can use this purchase link to obtain the John Coltrane Quartet: The Complete Sun Ship Session.