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  1. Vanguard

From the album Preposthumous


The Vanguard

A rainy night in New York City
November nineteen sixty-one
John Coltrane was in the Village
The new thing had begun.
On the bass was Jimmy Garrison,
The drummer Elvin Jones,
McCoy Tyner on piano,
Eric Dolphy saxophones.

On soprano sax or tenor,
Like a prophet, John Coltrane
Made another kind of music
Jazz would never be the same.
Like a message from the mountain,
Like the words of Martin Luther King,
Like the cry of John the Baptist,
When Coltrane did his thing.

Not everybody dug it,
Hearing something new,
The critics were disgusted,
And they all expressed their views.
And as for Eric Dolphy,
I believe they broke his heart,
But Coltrane kept on playing,
Dedicated to his art.

Now whenever I hear that music,
From over fifty years ago,
It never fails to move me
The way those cats could blow.
Back in New York City,
November nineteen sixty-one,
When John Coltrane was in the Village
And a new thing had begun.