Watch John Coltrane and His Great Quintet Play ‘My Favorite Things’ (1961)

Here’s some­thing to get your week start­ed on the right note: John Coltrane in 1961, play­ing his hyp­not­ic, dervish-like modal arrange­ment of the pop­u­lar Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein song, “My Favorite Things.”

The per­for­mance was record­ed by Ger­man pub­lic tele­vi­sion in Baden-Baden on Novem­ber 24, 1961–the same year as the release of Coltrane’s break­through solo album, also named My Favorite Things. The quin­tet includes Coltrane on sopra­no sax­o­phone, Eric Dol­phy on flute, McCoy Tyn­er on piano, Reg­gie Work­man on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. You can see the com­plete TV broad­cast, along with two oth­ers, in our Novem­ber 21 post, “John Coltrane: Three Great Euro­pean Per­for­mances, 1960, 1961 and 1965.”

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Relat­ed con­tent:

John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’ Ani­mat­ed

John Coltrane’s Naval Reserve Enlist­ment Mugshot (1945)

Charles Min­gus Explains in His Gram­my-Win­ning Essay “What is a Jazz Com­pos­er?”

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Comments (10)
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  • This com­po­si­tion was, is, and will always be a clas­sic 4 all­l­ll time! Can u dig it? By the way, he’s play­ing elec­tric clar­inet not sopra­no sax, Thank you

  • Kimi says:

    My broth­er, a tenor sax play­er, played this at my wed­ding in 1990. I’ve just learned now that this was record­ed the year I was born–a piece of music that is one of my “favorite things.”

  • mark says:

    All the great ones have to leave ear­ly.

  • David says:

    Tony Mitchell: Sor­ry. It is a sopra­no sax­o­phone. Coltrane nev­er played clar­inet once he began play­ing jazz.

  • Eddie says:

    Eric Dol­phy, though, did play bass clar­inet…

  • Lynn says:

    I think you can see him doing that cir­cu­lar breath­ing thing.
    Love the flute addi­tion.
    McCoy-almost love him more for what he does­n’t play as in, the use of “neg­a­tive sound”-beautiful.

  • Sounds like crap due to the audio dis­tort­ing when it was encod­ed.

  • Paul Westrick says:

    Check out the Atlantic Records re-issue of this album on 180 gram vinyl. Spec­tac­u­lar!

  • herb snitzer says:

    I pho­tographed Coltrane, with Dolpy, etc at The Vil­lage Gate, New York, in August of 1961 as they pre­pared to record John’s music. I was the Asso. Edi­tor of METRONOME and it was a night I have long remem­bered and the pho­tographs are ter­rif­ic.
    Herb Snitzer
    St. Pete, FL

  • herb snitzer says:

    Dol­phy, not Dolpy is the cor­rect spelling. So sor­ry — Eric and John were pure artists.
    Herb Snitzer
    St. Pete, FL

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