I don't think you need any help! "A Love Supreme" is Coltrane at his most passionate - it can rivet you in your seat.
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I'm not sure what you want help with -- if you were mesmerized by this recording, I'd say you have pretty damn good taste in jazz and don't need much help.
"A Love Supreme" is, without doubt, Trane's most personal recorded statement. It was composed shortly after Coltrane managed to kick a serious drug habit, at a period of time that he turned to God for help. Trane not only kicked the drug habit, but smoking as well, and thereafter his artistic career took off.
If you are interested in more information about this recording, and this period in Trane's life, let me know and I'll be glad to send you a lengthier commentary.
FOR JOHN COLTRANE
They should have
shown you to the sun
so he could know
you might have
made the world go mellow,
turned empty tables
golden with your sound
we are lucky, I suppose,
that they let you blow at all
their love is gold
that turns to dollars
yours streamed from your mouth
as free as air
as rare as free
still I can say
to children I don't have yet
Once upon a time, a Coltrane
walked the earth,
that they grow ears
"A Love Supreme" is an appealing, inspired, and inspirational set indeed. I've been moved by it for over thirty years: moved to tears, to reflection, to action, to dance.
Other Coltrane recordings that move me similarly are "Sun Ship", "First Meditations", "Kulu Se Mama", and most of the music from the 1961 Village Vanguard gig. "Crescent" and "Ole Coltrane" are also indispensable. "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman", "Duke Ellington and John Coltrane", and "Lush Life" all have much to offer. And I really enjoy Trane's playing with Monk and his recordings with Miles after he returned from Monk university.
The music is so good they have a church here in San Francisco and play that one song as liturgy for over an hour.
SDcampbell: I know he had different phases but you stated his career took off artistically AFTER this recording. This was recorded in 1964. I'd say after '64 his music matured spiritually and he was exploring after having found his voice. But Giant Steps, Blue Train, Coltrane, Live at the Village Vanguard, Ballads, et al. came before this album. I think his pre-1964 was the artistic search for that sound. you can hear him getting closer with each album, starting with the New Miles Davis Quintet. Ascension and Sun Ship are very different from his earlier work and from a love Supreme. It's all amazing, though. Comments?
Wow, a church in San Francisco that plays A Love Supreme. Quite a compliment to the lasting value of his music. I second all the praise about A Love Supreme. In addition to A Love Supreme, my favorite Coltrane albums are the recently issued Coltrane and Miles Davis box set, Giant Steps, Monk-Trane, Blue Trane, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Bags and Trane, My Favorite Things, and John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. I am not as fond of his later more atonal recordings.
Coltrane moves me because of the incredible creativity of his chordal improvisations off of repeated melodies (before his more atonal period); the unique, penetratingly beautiful tone of his horn; and the depth of emotion in his music.
Several postings have remarked about John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. I love that recording also. Another Johnny Hartman record you may wish to check out is Johnny Hartman, Once in Every Life. I think it is quite great.
The first Jazz recordings I heard, in the mid 70s, were at a friends house. He had exactly three Jazz records: Monk-Trane, The Louis Armstrong Story Vol. 3 (the Hot Sevens), and Clifford Browns At Basin Street. Not a bad way to be introduced to the music.