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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Book Reviews

Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane And The Legacy Of An Album

By Published: August 25, 2013
Whyton packs a lot of provocative but well balanced thought into a short space. He doesn't set out to challenge the deification of Coltrane but asks why musicians and fans evidently do feel the need to deify him: "Understanding why we need icons or invest jazz with spiritual meaning lies at the core of the Coltrane legacy" the author states. "By thinking of music in a different way, we have an opportunity to challenge traditional, unreflective assumptions and mystifying statements that permeate jazz culture, and instead engage with jazz composition as a complex and ideologically loaded practice."

Whyton succeeds in placing Coltrane and A Love Supreme in new focus. His compelling insights invite new thinking on jazz icons and their music and a clearing out of the mystifying, often contradictory lines of thought that cloud traditional histories of jazz. What emerge most clearly are the threads of narratives as yet to be fully told.

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