Black Pearls

For the martial arts movie, see Fearless Tiger. For other uses, see Black Pearl (disambiguation).
Black Pearls
Studio album by John Coltrane
Released August 1964
Recorded May 23, 1958
Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack
Genre Jazz
Length 38:53
Label Prestige
PRLP 7316
Producer Bob Weinstock
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[2]

Black Pearls is an album credited to jazz musician John Coltrane, released in 1964 on Prestige Records, catalogue 7316. It is assembled from the results of a single recording session at the studio of Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey. As Coltrane's fame grew during the 1960s long after he had stopped recording for the label, Prestige used unissued recordings to create new marketable albums without Coltrane's input or approval.

On that Friday session, "the songs weren't long enough for a whole album", recalled producer Bob Weinstock in 2001, "so I said Let's do a slow blues to finish it out." Coltrane invited Weinstock to write the song on the spot, but he didn't know music, so Coltrane replied "Just tell me what you want me to play. Should it go like this?" and he would play some notes. After having played a rough melody, he'd say "Okay, you wrote it." That was the genesis of "Sweet Sapphire Blues".[3]

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Black Pearls" (Coltrane) — 13:13
  2. "Lover, Come Back to Me" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg) 7:27

Side two

  1. "Sweet Sapphire Blues" (Bob Weinstock) — 18:13



  1. Black Pearls at AllMusic
  2. Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 46. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  3. 2008 liner notes

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