John Coltrane – Complete Live in Stuttgart 1963 (2010)

FrontCover1John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist, bandleader and composer. He is among the most influential and acclaimed figures in the history of jazz and 20th-century music.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Coltrane moved to Philadelphia after graduating high school, where he studied music. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes and was one of the players at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions and appeared on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk.

John Coltrane & Dizzy Gillespie:

Over the course of his career, Coltrane’s music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension, as exemplified on his most acclaimed album A Love Supreme (1965) and others. Decades after his death, Coltrane remains influential, and he has received numerous posthumous awards, including a special Pulitzer Prize, and was canonized by the African Orthodox Church.

His second wife was pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane. The couple had three children: John Jr. (1964–1982), a bassist; Ravi (born 1965), a saxophonist; and Oran (born 1967), a saxophonist, guitarist, drummer and singer

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Coltrane died of liver cancer at the age of 40 on July 17, 1967, at Huntington Hospital on Long Island. His funeral was held four days later at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York City. The service was started by the Albert Ayler Quartet and finished by the Ornette Coleman Quartet. Coltrane is buried at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Biographer Lewis Porter speculated that the cause of Coltrane’s illness was hepatitis, although he also attributed the disease to Coltrane’s heroin use at a previous period in his life. Frederick J. Spencer wrote that Coltrane’s death could be attributed to his needle use “or the bottle, or both.” He stated that “[t]he needles he used to inject the drugs may have had everything to do with” Coltrane’s liver disease: “If any needle was contaminated with the appropriate hepatitis virus, it may have caused a chronic infection leading to cirrhosis or cancer.” He noted that despite Coltrane’s “spiritual awakening” in 1957, “[b]y then, he may have had chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis … Unless he developed a primary focus elsewhere in later life and that spread to his liver, the seeds of John Coltrane’s cancer were sown in his days of addiction.”

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Coltrane’s death surprised many in the music community who were unaware of his condition. Miles Davis said, “Coltrane’s death shocked everyone, took everyone by surprise. I knew he hadn’t looked too good … But I didn’t know he was that sick—or even sick at all.” (wikipedia)

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And here´s a brilliant live recording, it was broadcasting by the German radio station called “Süddeutscher Rundfunk”.

More than 1 hour of previously unreleased material by Coltrane!!! The long unavailable concert in Stuttgart on 3 November 1963 by the John Coltrane Quartet now for the very first time on a single CD. The pieces Impressions and Mr. P.C. together already last over an hour and have never been released before. As a bonus, there is also the only song that the same formation played 2 days before the Stuttgart show in the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Including 12-page booklet. (press release)

Concert Poster1

I’ve been really enjoying the 1963 JC live recordings, including Birdland and Newport. Then Afro Blue Impressions which mostly derives from the Berlin and Stockholm Autumn concerts. Then I tried pulling together other tracks from the European tour scattered across various Pablo releases. The 7 CD European tour box from Pablo proved a fantastic find – this has some tracks from the 1961 tour, slightly more from the 1962 tour, but around half of the box is from 1963, duplicating the Afro Blue Impressions 2CD set, but adding some of the other scattered tracks, and some that I hadn’t come across before – it also supposedly reassembles the Stockholm concert. There are some tracks on the box where the venues and dates have been queried. The three 1961 Hamburg tracks, for instance, may actually be from Birdland according to Discogs (who confusingly refer to these tracks as 1962). The final track on the box is a lengthy Impressions which it says was recorded in Stuttgart 4 Nov 1963. However that track is similar to, but a different recording, to the one on the Domino Stuttgart release.


I’ve really enjoyed most of the Stuttgart concert, assuming that’s where it was recorded. The fantastic photo of Coltrane on the cover is clearly not in the modernist Stuttgart Liederhalle, a bit of Googling shows this was taken in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Most tracks are quite intense. The cover claims only the two lengthy tracks (totalling over an hour) and the orphaned Paris track at the end to be previously unreleased. Comparing the Impressions here with the one on the 7CD box the two are structured similarly and clearly recorded quite close togther in time, both have lengthy unaccompanied Jimmy Garrison solos with Garrison left on his own about 7 minutes into both of these performances – on the Stuttgart set Elvin Jones comes back in after a 7 minute bass solo, closely followed by the rest of the quartet, while the version on the 7 CD box has around 11 minutes of unaccompanied Garrison.

I’m fond of the Promise for Tyner’s piano, but I’ve only come across 4 or 5 live versions, so was pleased to hear it again here. There’s a great Afro Blue, which I find remarkable for the way it ends with such delicacy. I Want to Talk is fantastic – starting quite low key with Tyner’s cocktail bar chords playing unobtrusively in the background, but then he fades away to let Coltrane solo unaccompanied and this is absolutely exquisite, it brings tears it’s so perfect.


Favorite Things I found a bit scrappy – it doesn’t have the preamble that normally starts the track but goes quickly into the main melody (Whiskers on Kittens or whatever) – while Coltrane’s magic is still there, it doesn’t really hang together for me, and he briefly fluffs the handover to Tyner about 3 minutes in – Tyner takes the lead then for about 8 minutes before Coltrane returns, but to my ears not with the fluidity and power of some of the other fantastic versions from 1963. Every Time is a bit of an oddity, it seems quite tame compared to the other tracks, and while I know he played this regularly on the 1962 tour, I hadn’t realised it was also in the 1963 repertoire. The other lengthy track, Mr PC, of course also features another extended solo from Garrison, this time bowed, which the audience loved but which did seem overlong to these ears, forgive me.

Alternate front + backcover:
Alternate Edition

Overall some fantastic performances, and very good sound quality. I’ll definitely play the first CD a lot, that certainly merits 5 stars. I’ll return to the second CD, but less frequently – it seems mean to give 1963 Coltrane recordings anything less than 5 stars, even though the 2nd CD doesn’t quite do it for me. There are better, and worse, 1963 Coltrane concert recordings, but I guess the only folk who are interested in Stuttgart will already have several of these already, and are hungry to hear more – in which case this is definitely worth adding to the collection.  (by gracefuldad)

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Recorded live at Mozart-Saal, Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany, November 4, 1963
(on 01. – 07.)

Recorded live at Salle Pleyel, Paris, France, November 1, 1963 (on 08.) (1)


John Coltrane (saxophone)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
McCoy Tyner (piano)


01. The Promise (Coltrane) 18.53
02. Afro-Blue (Santamaria) 6.04
03. I Want To Talk About You (Eckstine) 35.37
04. Impressions (Coltrane) 5.24
05. My Favorite Things (Rogers/Hammerstein) 18.53
06. Every Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) 6.04
07. Mr. P.C. (Coltrane) 35.37
08. Chasin’ The Train (Trane) (Coltrane) 5.25
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(1) According to an update to the book «The John Coltrane Reference», track 2-4 was recorded at Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden, October 22, 1963. See session 63-1022, Note [5] on

More from John Coltrane:

The official website:

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