1/  Seraphic Light                             (J. Coltrane)                 8.54
  2/  Sun Star                                   (J. Coltrane)                 6.05
  3/  Stellar Regions                            (J. Coltrane)                 3.31
  4/  Iris                                       (J. Coltrane)                 3.50
  5/  Offering                                   (J. Coltrane)                 8.20
  6/  Configuration                              (J. Coltrane)                 4.01
  7/  Jimmy's Mode                               (J. Coltrane)                 5.58
  8/  Tranesonic                                 (J. Coltrane)                 4.14
  9/  Stellar Regions (Alternate Take)           (J. Coltrane)                 4.37
  10/ Sun Star (Alternate Version)               (J. Coltrane)                 8.05
  11/ Tranesonic (Alternate Version)             (J. Coltrane)                 2.48

          Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 15, 1967
          Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
          Produced by Bob Thiele and John Coltrane
          Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna
John Coltrane: tenor saxophone; Alice Coltrane: piano; Jimmy Garrison: bass; Rashied Ali: drums.

          1995 - Impulse! Records (USA), IMPD-169 (CD)


This is probably the fullest realization of the later quartet sound. It features shorter songs, strong melodies and solos that seem to grow organically out of the songs, so that it becomes difficult to tell where one begins and the other ends. This one features many great examples of the tightening and loosening that I was writing about above. Songs start out as a lovely melody statement, gradually building in intensity until they become agitated and roiling, and yet they still seem to contain a nugget of quiescence. This was discovered in the 1990's in a Coltrane family closet. Amazing. From non-existent to one of Coltrane's greatest albums in one jump. This gets my "most underrated" vote.

John Howard (courtesy of Perfect Sound Forever website)


This is a major set, "new" music from John Coltrane that was recorded February 15, 1967, (five months before his death) but not released for the first time until 1995. One of several "lost" sessions that were stored by Alice Coltrane for decades, only one selection ("Offering" which was on Expression) among the eight numbers and three alternates was ever out before. The music, although well worth releasing, offers no real hints as to what Coltrane might have been playing had he lived into the 1970s. The performances by the quartet (with pianist Alice Coltrane, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Rashied Ali) are briefer (2:48-8:54) than Coltrane's recordings of the previous year but that might have been due to the fact that this music was played in the studio (as opposed to the marathon live blowouts with Pharoah Sanders) or to Coltrane's worsening health. Actually 'Trane (who sticks here exclusively to tenor) is as powerful as usual, showing no compromise in his intense flights and indulging in sound explorations that are as free (but with purpose) as any he had ever done. Coltrane's true fans will want to go out of their way to acquire this intriguing CD.

Scott Yanow (courtesy of All Music Guide website)


i found this cd in the used bin and decided to pick it up because it was on the cheap. normally i would hesitate to buy MORE late era coltrane - i mean how much do i need, right?

boy was i wrong... i loved this album from the very first time i put it on the stereo.

i would recommend that this be the first late era coltrane cd that you purchase if you're not versed in abstract/avant music. why? because it's just as complex as coltrane's releases that surround it, but it's easier to get initially get into.

how can that be? i mean, how can something be just as complex, yet more accessable? it's because of the feel of the record. with Ascension and Interstellar Space, the music was not only insanely complex, but also almost harsh on the ears. the volume and the (i hesitate to use the word) harshness of those records provided the listener with an additional barrier they had to break through before they could get into the record. here, that barrier is gone.

the music, while complex and abstract, has a very soothing feel to it. the title is very befitting, as coltrane's notes sound as beautiful and natural as stars in the sky. his wife, alice, plays piano here, and her spacey, beautiful contribution complements the music perfectly. even when the music is impossible, the sound is always inviting. that's what i love about this - it sounds natural, beautiful and complex. for those who have been hesitating to get late era Coltrane, this is the place to start.


eezeeks (courtesy of website)