Impressions (album)

Impressions (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Impressions
Type = Album
Artist = John Coltrane

Released = 1963 (originally)
June 6, 2000 (reissue)
Recorded = November 3, 1961April 29, 1963, mostly at the Village Vanguard, New York City
Genre = Jazz
Length = 35:51 (original release)
47:36 (2000 reissue)
Label = Impulse! Records
Producer = Bob Thiele
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4|5 [ link]
*"Down Beat" Rating|4|5 (Dec. 2000, p.94 – reissue)
Last album = "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman"
This album = "Impressions"
Next album = "Live at Birdland"

"Impressions" is a 1963 album by jazz musician John Coltrane. Most of the album was recorded live at the Village Vanguard on November 3, 1961 and released in 1963 on the Impulse! label. The recording features the "classic quartet" of John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones; they are joined by Eric Dolphy and Reggie Workman on the live Vanguard tracks. Dolphy plays a memorable solo on the long modal workout "India", but lays out on all but the coda of "Impressions". Workman is at hand only on "India", to join Garrison in approximating the sound of an African drum choir.

Throughout, Tyner's presence is unusually muted; he takes his only solo on the bonus track, "Dear Old Stockholm", is barely audible on the two Village Vanguard tracks, and lays out entirely on "Up 'Gainst the Wall". Also, drummer Roy Haynes — as he sometimes did for Coltrane's group during this era — replaces Elvin Jones on "After The Rain" and "Dear Old Stockholm" (which were each recorded at the same April 1963 studio session). Jones and Garrison are also uncharacteristically low-key. All told, and even more so than on his other albums, the focus on this LP is on Coltrane. The title track (based to a certain extent on Miles Davis's "So What") is notable for featuring nearly fifteen minutes of Coltrane's soloing.

The music reflects Coltrane's evolving emotional and musical range, where he explores jazz modality, the music of India, the blues, and a traditional Swedish folk song (this last track was not included on the original 1963 album, but appeared first on a 1970s previously-unissued LP compilation and is on the current — as of year 2000 — CD release of "Impressions" as a bonus song). The eclecticism is to be expected; the album amounts ultimately to a compilation of three years of oddments.

Eight Miles High: A Jazz/Rock Crossover

Whilst touring in late 1965, the Byrds only had a hastily prepared tape recording of Ravi Shankar on one side of the cassette, and Coltrane's "Impressions" and "Africa/Brass" on the other.

"We played that damn thing 50 or 100 times, through a fender amplifier that was plugged into an alternator in the car." Jim McGuinn [ [ Jim McGuinn quoted in Eight Miles High by Richie Unterberger] ]
The result was the recording of the celebrated single Eight Miles High, acknowledged by the band as a direct homage to Coltrane, and to "India" on "Impressions" in particular.

Track listing

Original LP release "Impressions", 1963 (Impulse AS-42)

:1. "India" – 14:07:2. "Up 'Gainst the Wall" – 3:12:3. "Impressions" – 15:03:4. "After the Rain" – 4:09

Bonus track first released on "The Definitive Jazz Scene Volume 2", 1974 (Impulse AS-100) and on 2000 reissue

:5. "Dear Old Stockholm" – 10:38


* John Coltrane - Soprano sax, tenor sax
* Eric Dolphy - Bass clarinet, alto sax
* McCoy Tyner - Piano
* Jimmy Garrison - Bass
* Reggie Workman - Bass
* Elvin Jones - Drums
* Roy Haynes - Drums
* Bob Thiele - Producer
* Rudy Van Gelder - Recording engineer
* Kevin "relinquere nuces" Reeves - Reissue mastering


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