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September 21, 2010

The Traneumentary: The story behind… (rewind)

In the summer of 2006, I was contacted by Concord Records to create a podcast episode on a John Coltrane box set entitled “Fearless Leader.” After reviewing the material, it dawned on me that it would be nearly impossible, and somewhat a disservice, to create a single podcast episode on such an intense and profound artist. Having spent countless hours listening to Coltrane myself, I knew first hand his essence transcended the very music he left us and penetrated deeper areas within those who embraced it.

I had a bigger and better idea to introduce Coltrane to the podsphere and I quickly proceeded to contact my record label colleagues at Atlantic, Blue Note and Impulse. I told them about Concord’s request and presented a way we could all work together. I wanted to celebrate and introduce the great music of John Coltrane through his most famous recordings but also through personal stories and accounts from a variety of musicians, producers, writers and educators. Within thirty minutes, the Traneumentary was born.

The Traneumentary is an audio podcast series celebrating the artistry and recordings of John Coltrane. The series includes episodes with Jimmy Cobb, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Steve Kuhn, Dave Liebman, Terence Blanchard, Joe Lovano, Geri Allen, Jason Moran, Dr Billy Taylor, Anton Fig, Karrin Allyson, Michael Cuscuna, Lewis Porter, Ashley Kahn, Dave Schroeder, Lenny Pickett and many others.

The music of John Coltrane is good for your health and for the universe so share this series with as many friends as you can!

Many thanks go out to my label friends and colleagues Dave Henson, Lisa Nauful, Jon Vanhala, Matthew Fitz-Henry, Nate Herr, Jeff Zakim, Angelika Beener, Matthew Amoroso, Cem Kurosman, David Sholemson, Randall Kennedy, Jim Beaumont, Adam Hertz and the Apple, Inc. crew Neil Appel, Andy Doe, Scott Simpson, Pete Alcorn, Dustin Driver, Michael Suh and Glenn Bulycz.

Special thanks to Bret Primack for his insightful feedback and for interviewing Sonny, Dr. Billy Taylor for being our MC, Lewis Porter for providing timely Coltrane technical information, Michael deMartin for pod/blog design, Dave Schroeder at NYU for opening up his little black book and to Jim Best for giving me my first Coltrane album.

Very special thanks to all of the talented participants for their stories and generous support especially the alumni group: Jimmy Cobb, Steve Kuhn, Sonny Rollins and McCoy Tyner.

Sadly, we were unable to speak with three individuals who were on our master list – we celebrate their lives, mourn their departures and dedicate this series to them – Ed Bradley, Michael Brecker and Alice Coltrane.


– Joseph Vella / 01.31.07

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