What Are The Best Live Albums By John Coltrane?

A number of John Coltrane’s studio albums are widely recognised as jazz classics including A Love Supreme, Giant Steps, Blue Train and My Favourite Things but are there any live albums that should be regarded as equally essential to any collection of jazz albums?

I think there are but to find out for sure, I have created a readers poll to answer a simple question…

What are the best live albums by John Coltrane or featuring John Coltrane?

Is his best live album one of those early recordings when he was part of the Miles Davis or Thelonious Monk bands or when he became a band leader himself?

Cast you votes and let’s see what popular opinion recognises as the best live John Coltrane albums.

What Are The FIVE Best Live Albums By John Coltrane?

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You can get these albums from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk.

What Other People Say Are The Best Live Recordings By John Coltrane

I’ve searched the Internet to find what other people think are the live albums to focus on.

Steve Hoffman Forums – Coltrane fans what is your favorite live recording?

The following albums were recommended:

  • Live at the Village Vanguard
  • Live in Japan
  • Live at Birdland
  • Miles Davis Live in Stockholm 1960
  • Afro Blue Impressions
  • Thelonious Monk At Carnegie Hall
  • Live at the Village Vanguard Again
  • Live in Seattle
  • Olatunji
  • One Down One Up Live at the Village Gate
  • Newport ’63

Best Ever Albums – John Coltrane Best Ever Albums – this website asks people to submit lists of their favourite albums and then re-analyses them into various lists. The live albums recommended are:

  • Afro Blue Impressions
  • The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording
  • Live At The Village Vanguard
  • Offering: Live At Temple University
  • Live At Birdland
  • Live At The Village Vanguard Again!
  • One Down, One Up: Live At The Half Note
  • Concert in Japan
  • Live Trane
  • More Live At The Showboat 1963
  • Complete 1961 Copenhagen Concert
  • My Favorite Things: Coltrane At Newport
  • The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings

Revive-music.com – Order Is Everything! Collecting…John Coltrane make studio and live album recommendations but the only live albums to feature are:

  • Live At Birdland

It says “There are a myriad of exquisite live recordings of Coltrane: Live at Village Vanguard, Newport ’63, and Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up. But the cream of the crop is Live at Birdland.”

Spindityy.com – Ten Coltrane Albums Every Jazz Fan Should Own focuses on studio albums to such an extent that it doesn’t include any live al;bums. However people leaving comments about their favourite Coltrane albums are more open-minded and recommend:

  • live at the village vanguard
  • live at birdland

RollingStone.com – 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time – this list has at #15,  Live! At the Village Vanguard.

Head-fi.org forum – What’s the best “John Coltrane” album? recommends the following live albums:

  • Live at the Village Vanguard
  • Thelonious Monk Live at Carnegie Hall
  • Afro Blue Impressions

AllMusic.com – John Coltrane Albums Discography has the following 5 and 4.5 star rated live albums:

  • Live at Birdland – 5 stars
  • Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings – 5 stars
  • Thelonious Monk At Carnegie Hall – 5 stars
  • Complete Live at the Five Spot 1958 – 4.5 stars
  • Live in Stockholm (1961) – 4.5 stars
  • On Stage 1962 – 4.5 stars
  • Live at the Village Vanguard – 4.5 stars
  • The European Tour – 4.5 stars
  • Newport ’63 – 4.5 stars
  • Live in Paris – 4.5 stars
  • Live at the Village Vanguard: The Master Takes – 4.5 stars
  • Live in Antibes (1965) – 4.5 stars
  • Live at the Half Note – 4.5 stars

Drowned In Sound – I’m going to buy four John Coltrane albums – one person suggested four albums he was thinking of buying and asked for comments. The following live albums were recommended:

  • Live at Antibes 1965
  • Live at Birdland
  • The Olatunji Concert
  • Live at the Village Vanguard
  • Thelonious Monk At Carnegie Hall

DigitalDreamDoor.com – 100 Greatest Live Jazz Albums – includes the following John Coltrane live recordings:

  • Live at Birdland
  • Live at the Village Vanguard
  • A Love Supreme Live in Concert

I’m not surprised to see that there’s plenty of variety in the Coltrane live recordings that are being recommended. One issue is to pay attention to the recording date since there is a big difference between the earlier and late albums when Coltrane was experimenting with avant-garde styles.

It will be interesting to see how my poll develops when there are 50 or more voters expressing their opinions. By then, hopefully, we’ll be closer to a definitive list.

What Are The Best Live Jazz Albums Of All Time?

John Coltrane is a leading figure in the history of jazz but has he recorded one (or more) of the very best live albums?

Please vote in my poll to find the best live jazz albums. While you may not have heard all of them, I see a vote as a recommendation to other readers.

What Are The FIVE Best Live Jazz Albums?

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You can get these albums from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk.

What great live jazz albums have I missed?

You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls.

Live Album Polls For The Great Jazz Artists

I have polls for the following artists: – Louis Armstrong –  Count BasieJohn ColtraneMiles DavisEric DolphyDuke EllingtonDizzy Gillespie –  Billie HolidayCharles MingusThelonious MonkCharlie ParkerLester Young

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