The John Coltrane Quartet ‎– Africa/Brass

His Master's Voice ‎– CLP 1548
Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono

Tracklist Hide Credits

A Africa
Written-By – John Coltrane
B1 Greensleeves
Written-By – John Coltrane
B2 Blues Minor
Written-By – John Coltrane

Companies, etc.



Robert Swisshelm misspellt 'Swissheim' on back cover.

'Rcorded by Am-Par Record Corp., U.S.A.' [rear sleeve]

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side 1, stamped): A6 A - 1S
  • Matrix / Runout (Side 2, stamped): A6 B - 1S
  • Matrix / Runout (UK purchase tax code near spindlehole): Z

Other Versions (5 of 70) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
A-6-S, A-6 The John Coltrane Quartet Africa / Brass(LP, Album) Impulse!, Impulse! A-6-S, A-6 US 1961 Sell This Version
A-6 The John Coltrane Quartet Africa / Brass(LP, Album) Impulse! A-6 France Unknown Sell This Version
A-6 The John Coltrane Quartet Africa / Brass(LP, Album, Mono, Gat) Sparton Impulse! Records A-6 Canada 1961 Sell This Version
UCCI-9240 The John Coltrane Quartet Africa / Brass(CD, Album, RE, RM) Impulse! UCCI-9240 Japan 2015 Sell This Version
IMP 423 The John Coltrane Quartet Africa / Brass(LP, Album, RE) Impulse! IMP 423 Italy 1976 Sell This Version


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October 31, 2011
Africa/Brass is the first John Coltrane record I ever bought. It thoroughly perplexed me.

I was maybe 15 or 16 and way into the Grateful Dead. I read an interview with the band's bass player, Phil Lesh, where he spoke about how he turned his band mates onto Coltrane, specifically via Africa/Brass. I came to learn over the years that the band was incredibly impacted and influenced by Coltrane's early '60s work and that happenstance introduction started me on my exploration.

I was not entirely unfamiliar with or ignorant about jazz at the time, but I had a very, very superficial exposure. I can't even recall what I may have been aware of at the time but there was certainly nothing like Africa/Brass in my consciousness.

What I initially picked up was a cassette tape. This was the mid-80s and if I recall correctly, none of the Impulse! stuff was in print any longer, certainly not on CD. If it was available I wasn't stumbling across it...anyway, I purchased said used cassette and was eager to see what mind-boggling music could have possibly so motivated my musical heroes.

I wish I could say that I was immediately drawn in and absorbed by the music, but that was not the case. The music was incredibly dense to my ears, not at all what I thought "jazzy" should be. Even "Blues Minor", the most bop-like track on the record, was left-of-center for me. Quite frankly, I was confused. Not put off, but thoroughly confused.

I kept that cassette tape for years. As my interest in and knowledge of music grew I would revisit Africa/Brass. I wish I could recall when I finally "got it" but it probably did not take as long as my memory implies. By the early 90s Coltrane was already a familiar reference point to me and had prepared me for some of my favorite records, such as Sonny Sharrock's Ask The Ages and McCoy Tyner's Fly With The Wind.

Those endless hours of Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead and various heavy prog rock records did a great job of teaching me how to listen to and appreciate this other world of music, though. I love it all.