Blue Note Records has announced a November 18 release for Revival: Live at Pookie’s Pub, a thrilling previously unissued live recording of Elvin Jones’ quartet that captures the legendary drummer’s emergence as a bandleader at a little-known club in New York City where he had a weekly residency after leaving John Coltrane’s band in 1966.
Featuring Joe Farrell on tenor saxophone, Billy Greene on piano, and Wilbur Little on bass, Revival was recorded between July 28-30, 1967, just two weeks after Coltrane died on July 17. The album finds the band stretching out on expansive versions of standards and band member originals like Jones’ present to his wife “Keiko’s Birthday March” which is available to stream or download today.
Revival: Live at Pookie’s Pub will be released in deluxe 180g 3-LP and 2-CD sets which include an extensive booklet with stunning photos by Francis Wolff, Ozier Muhammad, Christian Rose, and others; essays by Grammy-winning author and co-producer Ashley Kahn, co-producer Zev Feldman, executive producer Don Was, and the original recording engineer Bob Falesch; interviews and statements by drummers Alvin Queen and Michael Shrieve, pianist Richie Beirach, and Elvin Jones band alumni Pat LaBarbera, Gene Perla, and Dave Liebman.
Don Was says: “This hidden treasure is the missing link charting the trajectory from Elvin Jones’ tenure in the John Coltrane Quartet to the subsequent formation of his legendary trio with Joe Farrell and Jimmy Garrison.”
Zev Feldman says: “I first became aware of these recordings of Elvin Jones at Pookie’s Pub back in 2011 and was looking for a label that would be a good fit and share my enthusiasm and excitement for the project. Luckily, I found the best home there is with Don Was at Blue Note. What better label to keep Elvin’s legacy burning bright than Blue Note? This is going to be a must-have for Elvin fans.”
Alvin Queen adds: “Elvin had unbelievable power. The foot pedal, sometimes the whole beater would go through the bass drum head and he’d keep playing and take his left hand and turn the whole bass drum around and keep playing without stopping. Elvin used to take nails and put them on the stage because he was so powerful, he might kick the bass drum off the stage.”
Ashley Kahn says: “There’s a distinct sense of time and space in other sonic details, like Pookie’s room-sound and the applause from an enthusiastic, if limited, number of patrons. Elvin’s audible vocalizations‚ grunting the structure of the tune, as well as the laughter between the musicians and candid stage chatter.
Whitney Balliett concludes: “It trampled traditional order… It delighted the mind and hammered at the guts.”
Elvin Jones was one of the most influential drummers in jazz history. He was born in Pontiac, Michigan on September 9, 1927, the youngest of 10 children that also included two elder brothers—Thad and Hank—who would also become jazz legends.
After moving to New York City, Jones worked with the likes of Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Sonny Rollins before joining forces with John Coltrane and becoming a member of the saxophonist’s seminal quartet. During the 1960s, Jones recorded on numerous classic Blue Note albums including Freddie Hubbard’s Ready for Freddie, Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil, Joe Henderson Inner Urge, Larry Young Unity, and McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy.
After leaving Coltrane’s group, Jones signed with Blue Note as a leader in 1968 and began recording a series of remarkable albums for the label through the early 1970s that included Puttin’ It Together, The Ultimate, Poly-Currents, Genesis, and Mr. Jones.
Revival: Live at Pookie’s Pub includes the following tracks:
“Keiko’s Birthday March” (21:11)
“Gingerbread Boy” (featuring Larry Young) (8:32)
“13 Avenue B” (16:39)
“My Funny Valentine” (8: 24)
“On the Trail” (19:46)
“Softly as In A Morning Sunrise” (18:23)
“Raunchy Rita” (3:55)