John Coltrane Live: The Playlist

John Coltrane went insane sometime around 1960. Once he hit that perfect balance of drugs, free jazz, and ingenious sidemen, it was game over for vintage hard bop. The Village Vanguard concerts of November 1961 saw the beginnings of the classic quartet—Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones—and their search for visionary new sounds and modes. In many ways, Coltrane revolutionized the concert experience through his visceral and spiritual engagement with his music of that period. Through these live performances, ranging from Coltrane Live in Paris to his essential contributions to Miles Davis’ 1960 tour, Coltrane delivered, through both his saxophone and his leadership, some of the most potent expressions of the post-war existential crisis that would ever be heard.