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Artist: John Coltrane
Date Released: 1965, recorded December 9, 1964
Produced By: Rob Thiele
John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ is probably the most celebrated jazz LP in the history of the genre, not to mention one of the most prolific and spiritual statements ever made by a musician. Recorded in December 1964 during the peak of his career, Coltrane’s full-bodied tenor sax was the result of countless influences, especially hard- and post-bop along with his budding inclinations in the avant-garde, notably modal and free jazz. His quartet was rounded out with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones; a collective of like-minded artists who played without writing or planning thanks to the musical and mental relationships formed between them. Coltrane’s mindset was especially focused on religion and spirituality at the time of conceiving ‘A Love Supreme.’ A self-deemed Christian, the 37-year old was increasingly interested in other religions, especially Hinduism and others farther east. He became so invested that he began to believe that God was revealing musical works and concepts to him in his dreams. This record was one of those revelations, and in the winter of 64, the quartet entered the studio and recorded them in the order presented. The album consists of two 7-minute pieces, Acknowledgement and Resolution, followed by the 17-minute Pursuance/Psalm. Dedicated to God as Coltrane’s “humble offering,” ‘A Love Supreme’ breathes spirituality (it even led to the formation of The Church of John Coltrane in San Francisco) and may be modern music’s most realized piece of art. Its hands down jazz’s most popular album to date and seems to be an essential influence to every fan of every genre; something this universally acknowledged and acclaimed cannot be a mistake. Mpardaiolo