First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection

Various Artists

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New Coltrane Tracks Discovered; Three Demo Performances Featured on First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection .

2011 marks the 50th anniversary of Impulse Records. The label will kick off its year-long commemoration of this auspicious occasion with the release of First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection (April), which includes the first six albums Creed Taylor produced for the label as well as a disc of rarities.

The label’s search for rarities yielded a truly remarkable discovery: unheard and never before available performances by John Coltrane, the leading light of the Impulse Record label. The three tracks were originally recorded in a demo session exactly fifty years ago – sometime in early 1961 – for Africa/Brass, Coltrane’s groundbreaking debut album on Impulse Records, and present Coltrane soloing in the company an all-star ensemble heavy on reeds and brass. The session was produced and conducted by trumpeter and composer Cal Massey – a longtime friend of Coltrane’s – and had been in the possession of his son Zane Massey. The three performances include the standard “Laura” and two original compositions by Massey: “The Damned Don’t Cry” (later recorded at the Africa/Brass sessions) and “Nakatini Serenade” – a slower version than the one Coltrane recorded for Prestige in 1958.

When Creed Taylor launched Impulse Records in January 1961, the label was an immediate success, attracting the attention of Coltrane, whose contract to Atlantic Records was ending. Taylor offered ’Trane the opportunity to record in whatever band format he chose, which ultimately resulted in the album Africa/Brass – his quartet augmented by an unusual combination of horn instruments, conducted by Eric Dolphy.

Though this demo recording was long-rumored to exist, it has not seen the light of day until now. Coltrane joined with Massey to assemble and record this rehearsal session in order to try out various ideas and arrangements. The resulting tape offers a revealing look at the care and planning that went into one of the most pivotal recording projects in Coltrane’s legendary career – his first big band project and his first for Impulse. Thanks to the families of both Coltrane and Massey, these historic performances are now available to the world for the first time, exclusively on the 4-CD set First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection.

Disc: 1

THE GREAT KAI AND J.J.

BRAND NEW, SWINGING TOGETHER AGAIN

1. This Could Be The Start Of Something

2. Georgia On My Mind

3. Blue Monk

4. Judy

5. Alone Together

6. Side By Side

7. I Concentrate On You

8. Moonglow/Theme From “Picnic”

9. Trixie

10. Going, Going, Going!

11. Just For A Thrill

KAI WINDING: THE INCREDIBLE KAI WINDING TROMBONES

12. Speak Low

13. Lil Darlin’

14. Doodlin’

15. Love Walked In

16. Mangos

17. Impulse

18. Black Coffee

19. Bye, Bye, Blackbird

20. Michie (Slow)

21. Michie (Fast)

Disc: 2

RAY CHARLES: GENIUS + SOUL = JAZZ

1. From The Heart

2. I’ve Got News For You

3. Moanin’

4. Let’s Go

5. One Mint Julep

6. I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town

7. Stompin’ Room Only

8. Mister C

9. Strike Up The Band

10. Birth Of The Blues


THE GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA: OUT OF THE COOL

11. La Nevada

12. Where Flamingos Fly

13. Bilbao Song

14. Stratusphunk

15. Sunken Treasure

Disc: 3

OLIVER NELSON: BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH

1. Stolen Moments

2. Hoe-Down

3. Cascades

4. Yearnin’

5. Butch and Butch

6. Teenie’s Blues

THE JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET: AFRICA/BRASS

7. Africa

8. Greensleeves

9. Blues Minor

Disc: 4

1. One Mint Julep mono single version (The Gil Evans Orchestra)

2. Sister Sadie (The John Coltrane Quartet)

3. Song Of The Underground Railroad

4. Greensleeves (alternate take)

5. The Damned Don’t Cry

6. Africa (first version)

7. Africa alternate take*Africa/Brass rehearsal band (featuring John Coltrane and Cal Massey)

8. Laura (rehearsal version)

9. Nakatine Serenade (slow version)

10. The Damned Don’t Cry rehearsal version* (Previously Unreleased)