A Love Supreme

After recording A Love Supreme in 1964, John Coltrane only played it in its entirety once in concert. During the 1965 Antibes Jazz Festival, the performance was broadcast on French radio. It’s worth hearing for its historical value alone.

In a 1966 interview, Coltrane discussed religion and spirituality. “I’ve always felt that even though a man was not a Christian, he still has to know the truth some way or another. Or if he was a Christian, he could know the truth” he said. “The truth itself doesn’t have any name on it to me. And each man has to find this for himself, I think.” This is the mindset of John Coltrane that is so vividly mastered in the Love Supreme suite.

John_Coltrane-A_Love_SupremeThe suite consists of  

four parts:   “Acknowledgement” (which contains the mantra that gave the suite its name), “Resolution”, “Pursuance”, and “Psalm.” It is intended to be a spiritual album, broadly representative of a personal struggle for purity, and expresses the artist’s deep gratitude as he admits to his talent and instrument as being owned not by him but by a spiritual higher power”. John Coltrane’s quartet included McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones.  The live Love Supreme performance was re-mastered and released in a 2002 two-CD set by Impulse! Records. This includes the original album and additional studio outtakes. The live performance played in Antibes, France is a bit different that the one recorded earlier in a studio. (A Love Supreme by Ashley Kahn).

This is Sunday morning music to me. It has influenced many musicians from varied genres of music. A Love Supreme is one of the top selling albums of all time. Here is a brief video of the quartet playing a portion of A Love Supreme.

A Love Supreme, John Coltrane



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