Death has never slowed the flow of John Coltrane’s music. Since his passing in 1967, numerous Coltrane live albums have been released. Now, Temple will become a part of the legendary jazzman’s legacy.
Recordings of Coltrane’s performance at Temple’s Mitten Hall in 1966 will be released on Sept. 23, titled “Offering: Live at Temple University,” with a record release celebration on Main Campus.
Coltrane, who began his career in Philadelphia, played with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and is known for pioneering the saxophone with his avant-garde style of jazz music.
The majority of his recordings were released on Impulse!/Resonance Records, from 1959 to present day, including his posthumous live releases. The label will release “Offering.”
Some students are excitedly gearing up for the rare release.
“He offered new sounds and methodologies that helped jazz evolve to its current state,” Keeland Bowers, a freshman jazz performance major, said.
The release of “Offering” comes as a surprise because the famed concert has only previously existed in low quality bootlegs. In a statement released by Impulse!/Resonance, the label confirmed that the performance will be available in full with the highest possible sound quality.
The 1966 concert was recorded by WRTI (90.1 FM), a Temple-affiliated radio station that specializes in classical and jazz music.
In an August 1967 article in the Evening Bulletin, shortly after Coltrane’s death, John S. Wilson commended the saxophonist’s originality and creativity, saying Coltrane played a style that was never the same from album to album.
“Offering,” from his album “Expression,” is “an exploration of all the resources of a saxophone – an utterly awesome performance,” Wilson wrote in the same article.
Sept. 23, the release date for “Offering: Live at Temple University,” would also be the late Coltrane’s 88th birthday and slightly fewer than 48 years since he performed at Mitten Hall.
According to Relix.com, a media outlet that has already had access to the performance, the Temple show differs from other performances Coltrane played at the time – instead of the spiritual, world style of jazz he commonly played, his performance at Temple is chaotic and unpredictable.
The record release event will be held in the lecture hall on the ground floor of the Samuel S. Paley Library. It will be sponsored by Temple University library, Impulse!/Resonance Records, and Ars Nova Workshop, Inc.
The event will feature a discussion panel as well as a time to “celebrate the occasion.” The concert will also be released as a two-CD digi-pak and as a two LP gatefold.
“Offering” came at a unique point in Coltrane’s life – while he had only months to live before he would pass from liver failure, bootleg versions of the performance show that Coltrane was still performing as he had many years prior.
By the time Coltrane performed at Temple, he had become involved with a variety of spiritual beliefs. Liner notes that on his albums, Coltrane confirms religious experiences and many biographers believe it is likely that his eclectic live performance was a result of his changing views.
“Offering” captures Coltrane at the end of his years as a musician, performing on Temple’s campus in Philadelphia, the city where his legacy began.
Vince Bellino firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @VinceTNF