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John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

Saturday, February 7, 2009
A Love Supreme (1965)

A Love Supreme (1965)

Interestingly, if you don’t know a thing about jazz and you ask a jazz afficionado where to start, chances are they’ll either point you to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue or John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. If you fall in love with either, you’re bound to exlore further the discography of either artist- if you like those albums, then it’s onto branching out into different jazz artists. Then, you’ll come to discover jazz is a lot bigger genre than you first thought it was.

At least, that’s what happened to me. I started of with Kind of Blue, and soon after, A Love Supreme. I then asked my roommate for him to give me some fusion, which introduced me John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Which is when I decided that exploring jazz throughly would be a project for a future date.

In the meantime, I’ll be content with my Coltrane and Miles Davis. A Love Supreme is my favorite jazz album I own (I really don’t own too many – maybe ten).  Like most complex music, it does take a while to get into a wrap your head around unless you happen to be born with that kind of temperement (which I wasn’t).

But when I do sit down to listen to A Love Supreme, it really is heavy stuff. It’s satisfies me in a way that less complicated music, say, the Killers, can’t really do.  A Love Supreme isn’t just good – it’s an absoulte masterpiece. Listening is a spiritual experience – it will bear you away to the highest of heights and the deepest of depths.

Some music you just want to veg out and enjoy. Some, you want to engage and think, and be carried away to entirely different level. Expand your horizons, so to speak. Better yet, rise above your horizons. A Love Supreme is that kind of album.

I could attempt to go in depth explaining each song, but I don’t want to kill what the music could be for you by contaminating it with what I think. Suffice it to say, it’s pretty complicated. I’m horrid at music theory, though I’ve tried, so any attempt to explain it would never do this album justice. All I know is that listening to it makes me feel amazing, body and mind.

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3 comments

  1. A solid post in honor of a remarkable record. Glad I stumbled across this.

    I am more than a little surprised to learn of anyone whose experience has been that knowledgable jazz fans would recommend A Love Supreme as a point of departure for eager listeners that are new to jazz. Kind of Blue is spot on (and in fact has been described as the jazz record most likely to be in the collection of those who have only one jazz record); it’s an absolute touchstone.

    Me, I’d selectively recommend Coltrane’s Giant Steps or Blue Trane for the beginner; Love Supreme has always struck me as a far more challenging piece of work to approach. YMMV, naturally, and all that above said, ALS is without doubt more than worth the time / effort / patience. It’s as much prayer as recording; Coltrane therein communes, communicates, and co-creates with a higher authority. Best, dmb


  2. Thanks for the comment dmb.

    Maybe what I meant by A Love Supreme being a common recommendation is that it’s seen as “essential.” Like no jazz collections is complete without it.

    Now that I remember, I got Giant Steps before A Love Supreme, but someone recommended me A Love Supreme knowing I was relatively new to jazz. Maybe I was just an off case.

    Regardless, it’s an out of this world experience.


  3. >> Regardless, it’s an out of this world experience.

    word.

    great blog, btw. you appear eager to cut a wide swath through the sonic realm. admirably broad ears.

    cheers,
    dmb



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