Live in Japan is a four-disc box set by American saxophonist John Coltrane and his last group, featuring the quintet of Coltrane, his wife/pianist Alice, saxophonist/bass clarinetist Pharoah Sanders, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Rashied Ali. The 4-CD set compiles all the music issued as three albums in the seventies by Impulse!; Concert In Japan (1973, US 2-LP, electronically processed for compatible quadrophonic/stereo), Coltrane In Japan (1974, Japan 3-LP (side six is blank), mono) and Second Night In Tokyo (1976, Japan 3-LP (side six contains an interview, mono). (Some of this material was also reissued as two 2-LP sets in 1980 by MCA under the titles Coltrane In Tokyo Vol. 1 and Coltrane In Tokyo Vol. 2) The first CD issues were by Impulse! Japan as two 2-CD sets: Live In Japan Vol. 1 (same as "Coltrane In Japan") and Live In Japan Vol. 2 (same as "Second Night In Tokyo"). The US 4-CD edition includes both of these volumes, with identical mastering from the original mono tapes. The side six interview from "Second Night In Tokyo" has never been reissued on any CD edition.
Recorded live on Coltrane's only Japanese tour in July 1966 at two Tokyo venues, Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall and Sankei Hall, it is taken from mono radio broadcasts. It is notable for the presence of alto saxophone by both Coltrane and Sanders; neither man often recorded with the instrument.
By this point in his career, Coltrane was firmly enmeshed into the avant-garde style of jazz. Sanders, who was an innovator of free jazz, influenced Coltrane's playing through his technical use of overblowing and fierce vibrations of the reed, and this record is remarkable for its use of multiphonics, overtones, and other extended musical techniques from both players.