Crescent (John Coltrane album)

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A slanted photograph of Coltrane playing saxophone in a blue suit facing the left. The top left corner of the cover features the title of the album in red script with by the words "John Coltrane Quartet" in yellow beneath it and "Featuring McCoy Tyner/Jimmy Garrison/Elvin Jones" underneath that in blue.
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1964[1]
RecordedApril 27 and June 1, 1964
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
GenreAvant-garde jazz, post-bop, modal jazz
LabelImpulse! A-66
ProducerBob Thiele
John Coltrane chronology
Live at Birdland
A Love Supreme
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly(positive)[3]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz3.5/4 stars[4]
The Village Voice(positive)[5]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[6]

Crescent is a 1964 studio album by jazz musician John Coltrane, released by Impulse! as A-66. Alongside Coltrane on tenor saxophone, the album features McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (double bass) and Elvin Jones (drums) playing original Coltrane compositions.

Coltrane does not solo at all on side two of the original LP; the ballad "Lonnie's Lament" instead features a long bass solo by Garrison. The album's closing track is an improvisational feature for Jones (with sparse melodic accompaniment from Coltrane's tenor sax and Garrison's bass at the song's beginning and end): Coltrane continued to explore drum/saxophone duets in live performances with this group and on subsequent recordings such as the posthumously released Interstellar Space (with Rashied Ali).

Recording and production[edit]

The quartet went into Rudy Van Gelder's studio on April 27, 1964, and performed all five of the songs on this album as well as a short version of "Song of Praise"—which was recut in May 1965 and compiled on The John Coltrane Quartet Plays. They returned to the studio on June 1, 1964, and recorded versions of the title track and "Bessie's Blues", which ended up on the album. The three rejected recordings from April 27 are compiled on The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Recordings.

The album's liner notes are written by Nat Hentoff, and the original LP's inner gatefold profile photograph of Coltrane was also featured on the cover of Coltrane's next Impulse! album release, A Love Supreme.


An earlier version of "Lonnie's Lament" appears on Afro-Blue Impressions, and an almost hour-long version of "Crescent" was recorded on Live in Japan. The entire album was collected on The Classic Quartet: The Complete Impulse! Recordings. Coltrane later recorded the song "After the Crescent", which appeared on 1978's To the Beat of a Different Drum.

The title track was later covered by Alice Coltrane for 2004's Translinear Light and McCoy Tyner on his 1991 album Soliloquy. Tyner recorded it again live for the albums McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane: Live at the Village Vanguard and Live at Sweet Basil. Guitarist Steve Lukather is the soloist on the version recorded for the 2005 tribute album A Guitar Supreme.[7] The SFJAZZ Collective covered four of the songs on their SFJAZZ Collective 2, with Nicholas Payton and Joshua Redman soloing on the title track.[8]

Garrison's widow recalled that this album along with A Love Supreme were the two he listened to the most.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by John Coltrane and published by Jowcol Music (BMI)

Side one

  1. "Crescent" – 8:41
  2. "Wise One" – 9:00
  3. "Bessie's Blues" – 3:22

Side two

  1. "Lonnie's Lament" – 11:45
  2. "The Drum Thing" – 7:22


John Coltrane Quartet

Technical personnel

Compact Disc release

See also[edit]

  • Blue World, an album recorded between Crescent and A Love Supreme released in 2019



  1. ^ Billboard July 11, 1964
  2. ^ Michael G. Nastos. "Crescent Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  3. ^ Tony Scherman (December 26, 1998). "John Coltrane Quartet The Classic Quartet-Complete Impulse Studio Recordings". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  4. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  5. ^ Frances Davis (May 30, 2006). "The John Coltrane Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  6. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 46. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  7. ^ Milkowski, Bill (November 2005). "Giant Steps Rocks". Jazziz. pp. 32–33.
  8. ^ Freeman, Phil (June 2006). "Rev. of SFJAZZ Collective, SF JAZZ Collective 2". Jazziz. pp. 55–56.
  9. ^ Kahn (2002), p. 222.