Listening Parties

Join us for free Listening Parties, as musicians and scholars play for you legendary records that shaped the course of Jazz history. Hear from some of today’s greatest artists as they share with you the albums and artists that inspired them. All Listening Parties are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise indicated, seating is available on a first come/first served basis.


The Irene Diamond Education Center (IDEC)
Time Warner Center, 60th Street and Broadway
5th Floor

April 3 at 7 pm

Jazz Movie Night: We Knew What We Had: The Greatest Jazz Story Never Told

A Listening Session Celebrating Coltrane ’58,
The New Box Set Highlighting John Coltrane’s Breakout Year

John Coltrane’s breakout year, when his mature saxophone sound first grabbed ears and his own recordings began to sell consistently, was 1958. The box set Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings, out March 29th (5-CD & digital formats) and April 26th (8-LP format) on Craft Recordings, chronicles that exciting year session by session, featuring all 37 tracks Coltrane recorded as a leader or co-leader for the independent Prestige label in those twelve months. The collection captures Coltrane in creative high gear—developing the signature improvisational style that journalist Ira Gitler famously dubbed “sheets of sound.” In addition, Coltrane ’58: The Prestige Recordings comes on the heel of the 60th anniversary of that breakthrough year, and serves as the cornerstone release marking the 70th anniversary of Prestige Records.

On April 3 at 7:00pm, a panel of experts and enthusiasts, including Coltrane biographers Lewis Porter and Ashley Kahn as well as special guests, will play selections and display historical images from Coltrane ‘58, engaging in a discussion filled with musical revelations and historical insights. What the term “sheets of sound” actually refers to will be addressed, Coltrane’s singular approach that caused shock and awe in 1958—and eventually deep appreciation, when he pushed the bebop ideal of slaloming through a tune’s chordal pathways to its extreme. Coltrane ’58 is also more than that: it’s also the sound of Coltrane working and smoothing out those sheets and decreasing the intensity, caressing and embellishing a melody, an aspect that could calm the toughest critics.

Come join us as we play tracks from this historical collection and with questions from the audience as well, we examine how 1958 helped John Coltrane become the legend we now revere, and why the music he made then still influences how jazz is played today. It may be a challenge to imagine how radical Coltrane sounded sixty years ago, yet there’s an enduring relevancy in Coltrane’s bold chance-taking, as a creative artist and as an African-American. “In the context of current headlines and an overriding sense of déjà vu, Coltrane’s music rings clearer than ever, with even greater meaning than it had in 1958,” writes Ashley Kahn in the liner notes to Coltrane ’58. “What he was playing then never felt less than urgent and relevant—subversive even. It still sounds that way.”

Please note, there are no reservations.  Seating is limited, and available on a first come, first served basis.