Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

14

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
For many a jazz fan John Coltrane's A Love Supreme is their personal desert island pick, the one recording they would not hesitate to live their days out listening to. Recorded on December 9, 1964, the session has endured as a document of the saxophonist's faith, as it was the proclamation of his rebirth from the jazz life of alcohol and substance abuse.

The 33-minutes that are A Love Supreme come as close to a musical paragon as there ever has been in jazz. Attempts by musicians such as Branford Marsalis, Frank Catalano, and the Turtle Island String Quartet to reproduce the suite have met with mixed results. For many listeners cover versions suffer the same criticisms as a remake of an Alfred Hitchcock film.

What then if we could hear Coltrane play the music live? Consider just how many times, it must be nearly a hundred, that he was recorded playing "My Favorite Things" live. Those performances didn't detract from the original 1960 studio date, because the Rodgers and Hammerstein piece was merely a platform for improvisation. A Love Supreme appears to be complete itself, with no need for interpretation. Coltrane seemed to believe this, because he performed the suite only on a few occasions. Then again, Coltrane died just 31 months after the session, at age 40. His musical progression seemed to explode post-Love Supreme with his study of new forms, expressions, and freedom. His classic quartet of McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones splintered from his explorations and associations with the so-called New Thing players, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, and Rashied Ali.

This new collection includes the original 33 minutes, plus the only live recording of the suite, made on July 26, 1965, in Antibes, which was released previously in 2002 in A Love Supreme: Deluxe Edition (Impulse!). That live date is remarkable for Jimmy Garrison's bass solo, which is arguably superior to his take on the studio session. Also included are the original mono masters of "Part III -Pursuance" and "Part IV -Psalm," pieces and parts, false starts and alternate takes and overdubs of the quartet's recording session. The new discovery from this release is the December 10, 1964, sextet session with the inclusion of saxophonist Archie Shepp and bassist Art Davis. As with his invitations to Eric Dolphy and Pharoah Sanders to perform with the quartet, Shepp and Davis bring their own influences to the music. Listening back to these four takes and two false starts of "Part I -Acknowledgment," you can grasp how Coltrane was unremittingly open to the expansion of his writing. Shepp's rawness and the two-edged bass approach hint at the possibilities of Coltrane playing this music live in concert. He ultimately decided to master just the quartet's version, we can theorize, because it is the closest thing to perfection he had ever produced.

Track Listing: (CD1): Part I - Acknowledgment; Part II - Resolution; Part III - Pursuance; Part IV - Psalm; Part III - Pursuance (mono); Part IV - Psalm 9mono); (CD2): Part I - Acknowledgment (vocal overdub 2); Part I - Acknowledgment (vocal overdub 3); Part II - Resolution (take 4/alternate); Part II - Resolution (take 6/breakdown); Part IV - Psalm (undubbed version); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 1/alternate); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 2/alternate); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 3/breakdown with studio dialogue); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 4/alternate); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 5/false start); Part I - Acknowledgment (take 6/alternate); (CD3): Introduction by M.C. André Francis; Part I - Acknowledgment (live); Part II - Resolution (live); Part III - Pursuance (live); Part IV (live).

Personnel: John Coltrane: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone; McCoy Tyner: piano; Jimmy Garrison: bass; Elvin Jones: drums; Archie Shepp: tenor saxophone (CD2); Art Davis: bass (CD2).

Title: A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Impulse!

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019