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

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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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