Recorded on August 26, 1965 (and not released until after his death), Sun Ship was the final recording by John Coltrane's quartet with drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. Pharoah Sanders would join the group the following month, and Tyner and Jones would depart in January of 1966 to be replaced by Alice Coltrane and Rashied Ali.
It is also one of the saxophonist's most intense taped performances. After nearly four years together, this band had achieved a vital collective identity. When Coltrane moved toward metrically free styles of rhythm and melody (with tunes often based on one chord or a short series of notes as themes), the quartet's rhythmic pulse and collective interplay evolved accordingly.
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