'We're still compelled by the power of his conviction': Ravi Coltrane on finding his father's lost album

A lost album by John Coltrane has just been unearthed. His son, Ravi Coltrane, opens up about why it's such a meaningful discovery for him personally.
The only soundtrack saxophonist John Coltrane has ever done was for a 1964 Quebecois film called Le chat dans le sac. (Copyright Chuck Stewart Photography)

Ravi Coltrane lost his father, the jazz legend John Coltrane, when he was not even two years old. Now, a lost album by his father has just been unearthed and it's causing a stir not just in the music world, but for Ravi as well.

"We do occasionally find [lost] tracks that hadn't been heard before," he says, "but this is the first discovery of a full album, recorded by this band — this is John Coltrane's premier group from the 1960s."

Ravi, also an accomplished saxophone player, never knew his dad, but spent most of his life listening to his music, so when he does hear something new, "it's like recognizing somebody's voice," he says. "It's joyous to hear something you're hearing for the first time, but it's also very affirming. What they are doing on these recordings is something that is solely their own … something that taught the rest of us how to play music."

Ravi adds that his father "had a relatively simple life — he did one thing ... and he did it with an insight and intuition that lead him to places that other musicians had never even imagined." It's for that reason that "we are still talking about his efforts 50 years later. … We're still compelled by the power of his conviction."

Coltrane talks to guest host Laurie Brown about this lost album, titled Both Directions at Once, and opens up about why it's such a meaningful discovery for music fans, but also for him personally.

Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is set for release on Friday, June 29. (Impulse! Records)

Produced by Ben Edwards


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